WASHINGTON — The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) today issued a letter demanding three companies and certain of their officers cease and desist from making false and misleading statements about FDIC deposit insurance. The FDIC is demanding that Bodega Importadora de Pallets (“Bodega”), Money Avenue, LLC, and OKCoin USA, Inc. take immediate corrective action to address these false or misleading statements.
Based upon evidence collected by the FDIC, the companies and certain officers made false representations by stating or suggesting that the companies are FDIC-insured, uninsured financial products are insured by the FDIC, misusing the FDIC name or logo, misrepresenting the nature or extent of deposit insurance, and/or failing to identify insured depository institutions with which it has a relationship for the placement of customer deposits and into which funds can be deposited.
These material misrepresentations and omissions are false and misleading, and have the potential to harm consumers. Additionally, in the case of Bodega, the false and misleading representations were contained on a Spanish website. For this reason, the demand letter to Bodega and this press release are also being issued in Spanish to ensure that potentially-impacted consumers are put on notice of the FDIC’s concerns.
“The FDIC has observed an increasing number of instances online where firms or individuals have misused the FDIC’s name or logo, or have made false or misleading representations about deposit insurance,” said FDIC Chairman Martin J. Gruenberg. “These practices can confuse consumers about whether they are dealing with an insured institution and if they are protected by deposit insurance.”
The Federal Deposit Insurance Act (FDI Act) prohibits any person from representing or implying that an uninsured financial product is FDIC–insured or from knowingly misrepresenting the extent and manner of deposit insurance. The FDI Act further prohibits companies from implying that they are FDIC-insured or their products are FDIC–insured by using “FDIC” in the company’s name, advertisements, or other documents. The FDIC is authorized by the FDI Act to enforce this prohibition against any person.
FDIC deposit insurance protects customers in the unlikely event of the failure of an insured financial institution. To determine if an institution is FDIC–insured, you can ask a representative of the institution, look for the FDIC sign at the institution, or use the FDIC’s BankFind tool. For general information about FDIC deposit insurance, read the following frequently asked questions. For more information about FDIC insurance and digital asset companies, read the following fact sheet.