The US Securities and Exchange Commission has charged the would-be creator of a “decentralized” Amazon Web Services alternative with scamming investors out of millions. The SEC announced a complaint on Friday against Australian citizen Craig Sproule, the CEO of cryptocurrency startup Crowd Machine, which promised a global cloud computing network built on users’ computers. In reality, Sproule allegedly sent $5.8 million to South African gold mines as investors’ cryptocurrency tokens became worthless.

An SEC complaint says that Sproule collected at least $33 million through an initial coin offering (or ICO) to build a decentralized “Crowd Computer” platform, which he claimed was “battle-tested” by Fortune 500 companies. He compared the…

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