The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has filed a proposed order with the US District Court for the Southern District of New York to request the British High Court’s assistance in getting the testimony of Telegram’s former chief investment advisor, John Hyman.
Telegram has been embroiled in a longstanding legal wrangle with the SEC over whether two ICOs conducted in 2018 should have been registered with the commission. Between January and March 2018, Telegram raised in excess of $1.7 billion USD from 171 investors, including $424.5 million USD from 39 United States investors, through an unregistered and highly secretive offering and sale of digital assets known as “Grams”. The SEC claims that Grams are a security and so the offering should have been subject to its regulations.
The SEC has now sought the help of the Senior Master of the High Court of England and Wales to compel the company’s former CIO, John Hyman, to testify in the case. The District Court considers that Hyman’s testimony is directly relevant to the case and that he is likely to have information and documents that may be used to support its claims against the defendants. The Court also says that justice cannot be done without Hyman’s testimony.
During his tenure as head of investment, Hyman is alleged to have been in communication with investors in the offering and other potential suitors. He is currently employed at “Gram Vault,” an entity that appears to be “a provider of safekeeping, trading and staking services to investors in the Telegram blockchain.”
Telegram has continuously denied all the allegations against it, and last month moved to have the entire case dismissed on the grounds of “improper regulation by enforcement.” No resolution to the matter will be reached until next year at the earliest, with two further hearings set for February 18 and 19, with an injunction preventing the release of Grams until April at the earliest.
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