:The U.S. Securities and Alternate Fee (SEC) on Wednesday mentioned it had settled expenses in opposition to Akazoo S.A., a Greek agency purporting to be a music streaming enterprise, for US$38.8 million after the agency allegedly defrauded buyers out of tens of tens of millions of {dollars}.

Akazoo went public through a particular function acquisition firm (SPAC) in 2019. The SEC froze the agency’s belongings a 12 months in the past as a part of an investigation into claims made by the corporate.

Based on the SEC, Akazoo instructed buyers it was a quickly rising music streaming firm centered on rising markets with over 38.2 million registered customers and US$120 million in annual income, however in actuality, the corporate had no paying customers and negligible income.

An legal professional for Akazoo, which didn’t admit or deny the SEC’s findings, declined to remark.

Since late 2020, the SEC has been ratcheting up scrutiny of SPACs, listed shell firms used to take non-public firms public in a course of {that a} extra conventional and prolonged preliminary public providing. The SEC has issued investor warnings, carried out an enforcement sweep of banks concerned within the transactions and has mentioned it’s taking a look at regulatory change.

“The SEC is intently centered on SPAC merger transactions, and we are going to proceed to carry wrongdoers on this house accountable,” David Peavler, Regional Director of the SEC’s Fort Value Regional Workplace, mentioned in a press release.

Akazoo agreed to the judgment in April 2021. The settlement, introduced on Wednesday, orders Akazoo to disgorge US$38.8 million in ill-gotten good points.

The SEC mentioned that whole can be glad with the corporate’s cost of US$35 million to buyers and settlements in reference to a number of non-public class motion lawsuits.

(Reporting by Kanishka Singh in Bengaluru and Chris Prentice in Washington; Enhancing by Leslie Adler, Richard Pullin and Lincoln Feast)