ripple VnqyBO Ripple vs. SEC: SEC Pushes for $2 Billion Penalty, Ripple Argues for $10 Million

Ripple vs. SEC: SEC Pushes for $2 Billion Penalty, Ripple Argues for $10 Million

The long-standing legal battle between Ripple Labs and the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has entered a critical phase, with both parties arguing over the appropriate remedies and the admissibility of certain materials and testimonies.

The SEC, which initially accused Ripple of raising $1.3 billion through the sale of XRP as an unregistered security, is now pushing for a significant penalty of nearly $2 billion. Ripple, on the other hand, maintains that a fine closer to $10 million would be more appropriate.

TLDR

The SEC argues that Ripple should pay close to $2 billion in fines for selling XRP to institutional investors, while Ripple claims the figure should be closer to $10 million.
The SEC criticized Ripple’s proposed penalty, stating it would be a “slap on the wrist” and encourage other crypto asset issuers to violate securities laws.
Ripple challenged the testimony of an SEC Enforcement Division Accountant, Andrea Fox, claiming the SEC failed to provide her identity and testimony during the discovery phase.
The SEC countered Ripple’s objections, describing Fox’s testimony as routine and appropriate for calculating financial remedies in legal proceedings.
The court is expected to rule on Ripple’s dismissal motion imminently, with the SEC submitting its reply brief under seal on May 6, 2024.

In a recent court filing, the SEC slammed Ripple’s proposed penalty, stating that it would be a mere “slap on the wrist” and would not effectively deter other cryptocurrency businesses from violating securities laws.

The regulator argued that Ripple’s suggestion would encourage other crypto asset issuers to ignore Section 5 of the Securities Act, which requires issuers to file a registration statement when publicly offering securities.

Ripple’s Chief Legal Officer, Stuart Alderoty, criticized the SEC’s stance, accusing the regulator of failing to faithfully apply the law and attempting to mislead the judge. Alderoty’s comments highlight the ongoing tension between the two parties as they navigate this complex legal landscape.

A key point of contention in the current phase of the trial is the admissibility of testimony from Andrea Fox, an SEC Enforcement Division Accountant.

Ripple has moved to strike the “Fox Declaration,” claiming that the SEC engaged in “sandbagging” by withholding her identity and testimony during the remedies-only discovery phase. This, according to Ripple, hindered the company’s ability to respond adequately to the SEC’s arguments.

The SEC countered Ripple’s objections, describing Fox’s testimony as standard summary evidence routinely used to calculate financial remedies in legal proceedings.

The regulator maintained that the testimony was appropriate and based on documents produced or served by Ripple, including audited financial statements, interrogatory answers, and sales records.

Ripple’s reply brief challenges the SEC’s claims, arguing that Fox’s testimony involves complex accounting assessments and should be classified as expert testimony rather than a mere summary.

This distinction is crucial, as it suggests that the SEC failed to provide an expert report during the discovery phase, potentially prejudicing Ripple’s defense.

As the court prepares to rule on Ripple’s dismissal motion, the SEC submitted its reply brief under seal on May 6, 2024.

This document, which is not yet public, is expected to directly challenge Ripple’s opposition to the SEC’s earlier request for a punitive penalty and an injunction against the sale of XRP to institutional investors.

The crypto community awaits the release of the public, redacted version of the reply brief and supporting documents, which could provide further insight into the SEC’s arguments and the potential outcome of the case.

The Ripple vs. SEC lawsuit has captured the attention of the cryptocurrency industry, as its outcome could have far-reaching implications for the regulatory landscape.

While some experts believe that the court may appease the SEC by imposing a fine on Ripple, others expect a more nuanced ruling that takes into account the complexities of the case and the evolving nature of digital assets.

As the legal battle enters its final stages, the crypto community remains divided on the potential outcome and its impact on the future of XRP and the broader cryptocurrency market.

The post Ripple vs. SEC: SEC Pushes for $2 Billion Penalty, Ripple Argues for $10 Million appeared first on Blockonomi.

Scroll to Top