The ongoing court battles between the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and Telegram are something the entire industry will watch with bated breath as New York’s Southern District Court decides if Telegram unlawfully offered an unregistered security to Americans. To reach that decision, District Judge P. Kevin Castel has ordered Telegram’s leadership to deliver testimony to the court.
CoinDesk reports Pavel Durov, CEO and founder of the company, has been ordered to be deposed at a location “agreed upon by the parties,” on either January 7 or 8, 2020. Vice President Ilya Perekopsky will be questioned in London on December 16, 2019. Finally, Shyam Parekh will also be deposed in London on December 10, 2019.
The need to talk to Durov is clear, as it’s his company. Perekopsky was the person responsible with communications to investors during Telegram’s $1.7 billion pre-sale of its Gram token. Parekh is a Telegram employee whose name appeared on communications to those investors, so thus the need to question him as well.
The SEC has taken Telegram to court to stop it from continuing with the TON project. It has labeled Telegram’s offering as an unregistered security, which if Judge Castel agreed, would make Telegram’s path forward in America very difficult. Telegram disagrees with this assessment, arguing that they had registered the offering, but as a currency or commodity. They don’t feel it’s a security at all.
Before the SEC took Telegram to court, they initially planned to launch Gram on October 30, but they had to delay that date for obvious reasons. Citing a clause in the investment contract, they are not returning investor funds, but instead have delayed the launch to April 30, 2020. Investors voted to agree to this plan.
There’s no way of knowing if Telegram will be able to go ahead with that date. If the court finds in their favor, which seems like a long shot at this point, the SEC has previously promised they would fight the project to the bitter end, asserting their authority to regulate the securities space.
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