SEC Accuses Online Crypto Course Founder of $1.2 Million Fraud Targeting Students

SEC Charges Brian Sewell for Defrauding Students

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has filed a lawsuit against Brian Sewell and his company Rockwell Capital Management for allegedly defrauding investors of over $1 million.

Bitcoin Academy’s Rockwell Fund

Between early 2018 and mid-2019, Sewell promoted his online crypto course, the Bitcoin Academy, to hundreds of students. He encouraged them to invest in the Rockwell Fund, claiming it would use artificial intelligence and trading strategies to buy and sell digital assets.

15 Students Invested $1.2 Million

Fifteen students were persuaded by Sewell’s claims and invested a total of $1.2 million in the Rockwell Fund. However, instead of launching the fund and implementing the promised trading strategies, Sewell invested the funds in Bitcoin (BTC), which he subsequently lost in a hacking incident.

SEC Director’s Statement

Gurbir S. Grewal, Director of the SEC’s Division of Enforcement, stated that Sewell defrauded students of over a million dollars through a series of lies about investment opportunities in his purported crypto hedge fund. Grewal emphasized that Sewell falsely claimed his investment strategies would be guided by artificial intelligence and machine learning technology, which never existed.

Settlement and Penalties

Sewell and Rockwell Capital Management have agreed to settle the fraud charges without admitting or denying the SEC’s allegations. Sewell agreed to pay a civil penalty of $223,229, while Rockwell Capital agreed to disgorgement and prejudgment interest totaling $1,602,089. Both Sewell and his company also consented to injunctive relief. The terms of the settlement are subject to court approval.

SEC’s Disclaimer

The SEC emphasized that opinions expressed by FastPayCrypto are not investment advice. Investors should conduct their due diligence before making any high-risk investments in Bitcoin, cryptocurrency, or digital assets. The SEC advised investors that their transfers and trades are at their own risk, and any losses incurred are their responsibility. FastPayCrypto does not recommend buying or selling any cryptocurrencies or digital assets and is not an investment advisor.