DFPI Charges Digital Asset Company With More Than 50,000 CFL Violations

Yesterday's post concerned a bill pending in the California legislature that would impose a licensing requirement on persons engaging in "digital financial asset business activity", or holding itself out as being able to engage in "digital financial asset business activity", with or on behalf of a resident (as defined) of California.   Some digital asset businesses, however, may already be subject to existing licensing requirements.

Earlier this week, the California Department of Financial Protection & Innovation announced that it is taking action under the California Financing Law against a company engaged in digital asset trading, lending, and borrowing.   The DFPI is accusing the company, Celsius Lending, LLC,  of over 55,000 violations of the CFL, including "making unlicensed loans prior to becoming licensed, engaging in deceptive advertising, making untrue statements to the Commissioner in the course of licensing, contracting for unlawful prepayment penalties, charging excess liquidation charges, and various other illegal contract terms and failures to make required disclosures to consumer borrowers beginning from Day 1 of its licensure in August 2021."  This may be a case of closing the barn door after the horse has bolted.  Celsius has already filed for relief under the Bankruptcy Code.