The website of the fictitious Board of Securities and Financial Services in Austin, Texas, has been shut down after a federal judge issued a temporary restraining order against the entity.
The Department of Justice requested the injunction to shut down the sham regulator, which was attempting to obtaining sensitive personal and financial information from individuals to defraud them. A hearing to consider a permanent injunction is scheduled for May 7.
The BSFS described itself as a regulator with wide authority, based in downtown Austin at an address five blocks from the headquarters of the Texas State Securities Board, which is the actual state regulator.
The BSFS does not exist, and its website was set up by a “John Doe” using a Panamanian company that allows domain users to conceal who actually registers a site name, the Texas State Securities Board said in a release.
On its site, the BSFS claimed responsibility for “supervising, managing, and implementing all federal securities laws” related to mergers and acquisitions, and said its “mission” was to “protect investors and maintain integrity of the securities industry.”
The site contained a link to “File a Complaint” about financial services companies, which required people to provide their name, company, address, phone number and email address, along with the identity of the firm that was the subject of the complaint.