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US Court rejects SEC’s request to compel Telegram disclose bank records

Wed, 08 Jan 2020, 07:42 am UTC

The District Court for the Southern District of New York has ruled in favor of Telegram, denying the request by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to make the messaging giant disclose its bank records, Cointelegraph reported.

According to a court order signed by Judge P. Kevin Caste:

“The Court denies, without prejudice, plaintiff’s application to compel the production of defendant’s bank records. By January 9, 2020, defendant shall set forth in a declaration a proposed schedule for a review of the requested bank records to ensure that production of such records complies with foreign data privacy laws.”

Earlier this month, the SEC sought Telegram’s bank records to know how the company spent the $1.7 billion raised via initial coin offering (ICO). It had argued that bank records were highly relevant to the ongoing case, including “how much money Telegram has spent, and in what manner, in developing the TON Blockchain, the Telegram Messenger application to be integrated with the TON Blockchain, and related applications.”

In response, Telegram called SEC’s request an “unfounded fishing expedition” and had asked the court to deny the request.

Even though the court has ruled in favor of Telegram, the firm would still have to prove that its bank records are in compliance with foreign data privacy laws.

Meanwhile, Telegram has issued a public statement on its TON Network and Gram tokens. The company emphasized that Grams are not investment products and are intended to act as a medium of exchange between users in the TON ecosystem.

“Grams are NOT investment products and there should be NO expectation of future profit or gain from the purchase, sale or holding of Grams,” it said.

Telegram also stressed that Grams do not represent any equity or other ownership interest in the company or its affiliates, any rights to dividends or other distribution rights from Telegram or its affiliates, and any governance rights in Telegram or its affiliates.

Faced with the ongoing legal battle with the SEC, Telegram postponed the launch of the TON Blockchain to April 2020. The company said:

“Neither Telegram nor any of its affiliates are involved in any public sales or presales of Grams. To the contrary, the TON Blockchain on which Grams will function is still in a Beta Test phase…Only once the TON Blockchain launches will Grams be created and available to purchase.”

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