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Blockchain Investigations and Litigation

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Law must often play catch up when innovations change the way society and institutions operate. In this country and around the globe, blockchain technology has just begun to change the way securities and other investments trade in their market places and how government agencies will monitor and regulate that trading. Disputes are bound to arise, especially when law has just begun to adapt to the challenges posed by blockchain.

Another dynamic has created urgency for these legal principles to be quickly formulated and applied. Those prone to bilk investors through classic manipulative schemes such as “pump and dump” have found a new arena to separate investors--fearful they will be left out--from their savings.  The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, anxious to protect investors from fraudsters, has promised to aggressively monitor and regulate initial coin offerings. Excessive zeal by the SEC could stifle promising new startups and even budding industries.   

Disputes in this environment are endless but here are some of the most obvious:

*Whistleblowers reporting violations of federal or state securities acts;
*Whistleblowers who suffered reprisals when they pushed back or reported violations of federal or state law;
*Investors who suffered losses when “tokens” were sold in violation of federal or state law;
*Hedge funds or their brokers may manipulate the markets for the tokens or their derivatives harming investors and the issuing company;
*Regulators may act outside the scope of their authority and thereby threaten the viability of startups during their infancy.

Aguirre Law is prepared to investigate and litigate these types of disputes and advise clients how to avoid them.

Gary Aguirre’s January 2018 article (Blockchain in Securities Trading: Black Swan or In-House Pet) in Wall Street Lawyer, a Thomson-Reuters publication, breaks ground on how blockchain may be integrated into securities trading. Legal innovation is nothing new for him. He did it in construction defect litigation, air disaster litigation, bankruptcy, Freedom of Information Act litigation, uncovering insider trading, and whistleblower litigation.


Mr. Aguirre primarily assists clients throughout California including San Diego, Santa Clara, San Francisco, Fresno, Sacramento, Los Angeles, Alameda, Kern and Orange Counties with investor and whistleblower claims involving banks, hedge funds, mutual funds, private equity funds, brokers, and other financial institutions. He focuses on claims arising out of market abuse (e.g., market manipulation, high frequency trading, insider trading, naked shorting), investment fraud, bribes to foreign officials under the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) and the filing of false claims under federal or California law (qui tam statutes). Mr. Aguirre may represent individuals and institutions pro hac vice (in a particular case) in most states, but must first obtain the approval of the forum court, which has been routinely granted in the past. He will also assist individuals from any state or country who seek an award from the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) or the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) under their whistleblower incentive programs.



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| Phone: 619-400-4960
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| Phone: 415-361-4039

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