Last week President Trump signed an executive order to create a new specialized task force to address financial fraud. Unlike anything put together in the past, this Task Force’s primary goal is to combat digital asset fraud and cybercrime – including illegalities relating to cryptocurrency.
Task Force on Market Integrity and Consumer Fraud
According to the executive order, this new organization will be known as the “Task Force on Market Integrity and Consumer Fraud.” The working group will be chaired by the Deputy Minister of Justice, Rod J. Rosenstein, and the Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Christopher A. Wray, will also be involved.
The team will aim to advise the Attorney General, Jeff Sessions, on all forms of financial fraud including that involving cryptocurrency. These recommendations relate to investigations and prosecutions of specific cases, as well as general enforcement actions.
The Task Force will have the authority to convene officials from any other government agency to participate in the meeting, and through Sessions, they will be able to make recommendations to President Trump to strengthen cooperation and legislative reforms between agencies.
Obama’s 2009 Agency Ousted
The new working group will replace the Financial Fraud Enforcement Working Group established by former US President Barack Obama in November 2009 after the financial crisis. According to Bloomberg News, the establishment of a new organization will help the current government focus on its work; cryptocurrencies are not included in the terms of reference of the previous working group.
In introducing the executive order, Rosenstein said at a news conference:
“The fraud of the company and its employees will have a devastating effect on US citizens in the financial markets, the healthcare sector and elsewhere.”
Rosenstein said at a bank meeting in February that the Justice Department is studying a comprehensive cryptocurrency strategy, saying that banks are “the first line of defense.”
Robert Cohen, head of the US Securities and Exchange Commission’s executive department, made a positive comment on the cryptocurrency at a meeting in May this year, saying:
“The US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is open to those who meet with the industry. Employees meet, talk about your ideas and new developments, and talk about new technologies.”
As a result of this, last week a US self-regulatory agency issued a notice urging its member companies to inform them of any cryptocurrency business they own or plan to own.