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SEC’s Top Crypto Cop Joins Coinbase’s Law Firm

SEC’s Top Crypto Cop Joins Coinbase’s Law Firm
By: coindesk.com Posted On: August 20, 2019 View: 3

SEC’s Top Crypto Cop Joins Coinbase’s Law Firm

The former head of the Securities and Exchange Commission’s (SEC) Cyber Unit is moving to private practice.

Robert A. Cohen will join the corporate law firm Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP as partner. The firm is known for representing several crypto firms including Coinbase, as well as large legacy financial institutions, according to a Wall Street Journal report.

Cohen tendered his resignation in July, after 15 years of government service with the SEC. His departure reportedly leaves the cyber unit without a leader.

As head of the Cyber Unit, Cohen oversaw the precedent-setting lawsuit against Kik Interactive for allegedly engaging in a fraudulent $100 million securities offering. In a recently published rebuttal of the lawsuit, Kik denies the agency’s core complaints.

The cyber unit was founded in 2017 as a way to manage the development of the blockchain ecosystem and protect investors. The agency’s mandate includes investigating financial violations involving digital assets, as well as policing cybersecurity issues. Cohen made a name for pursuing several actions against allegedly fraudulent initial coin offerings.

In an interview with WSJ, Cohen said the watchdog carefully weighed which actions to pursue.

“We brought some high-profile cases pretty quickly and we got the message out,” he said. “But the industry should have a chance to adapt to it. If the goal is to send the message, you should give people a chance to get the message and adjust.”

In his new role, Cohen will be barred from speaking with SEC officials for a year, per “revolving door” regulations.

Robert A. Cohen Former Chief of Cyber Unit Securities and Exchange Commission Division of Enforcement panel speaker Consensus 2018

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