March 28, 2024
Abra Settles in Texas, Agrees to Refund Crypto Loans
Latest Cryptocurrency News

Abra Settles in Texas, Agrees to Refund Crypto Loans

Crypto lending firm Abra, which has allegedly been insolvent since March 2023, has reached a settlement in principle with the Texas State Securities Board (TSSB). As per the final confirmation released by the TSSB on January 22, Abra has initiated the process of winding down its U.S. retail operations. The company will notify clients with balances exceeding $10, allowing them to withdraw their assets within seven days. Unclaimed assets will be converted to fiat currency and directed to the remaining Texas investors.

Abra, a group of companies controlled by crypto entrepreneur Bill Barhydt, includes four separate entities in the settlement: Plutus Financial Holdings, Plutus Financial, Plutus Lending, and Abra Boost. Abra had been offering Abra Earn and Abra Boost, promising users interest in their digital asset deposits while generating profits from lending the funds. Despite the settlement, the Abra website continues to advertise the offer, claiming up to 10% interest compounded daily and paid out every Monday.

The Texas State Securities Board issued an emergency cease and desist order on June 15, 2023, accusing Barhydt and Abra of securities fraud and deceptive practices related to the sale of investment products. The regulator also asserted that the firm was either insolvent or nearly insolvent as of March 31, 2023.

According to the terms of the settlement, at the time of TSSB’s actions, Abra held $13.6 million in crypto on behalf of over 12,000 investors in the United States, with $1.8 million belonging to approximately 1,600 Texas residents.

Abra’s official X account (formerly Twitter) has remained silent since June 2023. Bill Barhydt has confirmed the settlement, emphasizing that Abra “has never (ever) frozen withdrawals for US users” and highlighting that the company “voluntarily wound down” the Earn and Boost programs in 2023.

Photo by Karolina Grabowska

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