Core Scientific and Iris Energy backer under SEC scrutiny, report says

Crypto-friendly bank B. Riley Financial Inc. is said to be facing an undisclosed investigation from U.S. authorities.

The Los Angeles-based investment bank B. Riley Financial Inc. is reportedly under investigation by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) for its transactions with a client associated with securities fraud, Bloomberg reports, citing sources close to the matter.

According to the report, the investigation apparently linked to Brian Kahn, an unnamed co-conspirator in a U.S. Department of Justice criminal case linked to the 2020 collapse of the Prophecy Asset Management hedge fund. Sources claim that SEC officials conducted interviews in recent months to explore Kahn’s role in orchestrating the buyout of Franchise Group Inc., a deal facilitated by B. Riley and partly financed by Nomura Holdings Inc.

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B. Riley is known on the crypto market as a backer of two large Bitcoin mining firms: Iris Energy and Core Scientific.

In September 2022, Iris Energy inked an agreement with B. Riley for the sale of up to $100 million in equity until 2024. In December of the same year, the Los Angeles-based bank also proposed to Core Scientific that it would provide $72 million in non-cash pay financing on favorable terms, providing more than two years of runway for the company to achieve profitability.

A spokesperson for B. Riley told Bloomberg the bank has not received “anything from the SEC on this matter and to the extent the SEC makes an inquiry, we would fully cooperate as we have done in the past on all regulatory inquiries.” As of press time, the SEC has not publicly accused B. Riley of any wrongdoings.

Read more: Iris Energy boosts self-mining with purchase of Bitmain T21 miners


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