A federal judge banned trading platform PaxForex from operating in the U.S. late last month, writing in a default judgement that the futures shop, which in 2018 was host to unlicensed leveraged crypto products, failed to defend itself in court.

Laino Group Ltd., the St. Vincent-based company that is behind PaxForex, must pay a $374,864 fine and is permanently barred from trading, soliciting or registering in the U.S., David Hittner, a federal judge in Texas’ Southern District, ordered

Hittner ruled that PaxForex’ leveraged bitcoin, ether and litecoin trading operation violated the Commodity Exchange Act because it failed to register with the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, the nation’s top derivatives regulator.

Federal agents seized the company’s domain name last September in coordination with the CFTC, which then filed suit.

“The CFTC strongly urges the public to verify a company’s registration with the CFTC before committing funds,” the agency said in a statement

The leader in news and information on cryptocurrency, digital assets and the future of money, CoinDesk is a media outlet that strives for the highest journalistic standards and abides by a strict set of editorial policies. CoinDesk is an independent operating subsidiary of Digital Currency Group, which invests in cryptocurrencies and blockchain startups.