American watchdog, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has won its dispute against blockchain payments firm Ripple Labs Inc. over access to the latter’s financial statement.
US Court Rules in Favor of SEC
The Magistrate Court Presided over by Judge Sarah Netburn has consented to a motion filed earlier in January by the SEC compelling the crypto payment firm Ripple to produce its 2022-2023 financial statements. The regulators also requested post-complaint contracts governing institutional sales of XRP as well as answers to questions regarding the amount of XRP institutional sales proceeds it received.
All of these requests have been approved by the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York.
🚨NEW: The @SECGov has won its motion to compel @Ripple to produce its 2022-2023 financial statements, post-complaint contracts governing institutional sales of $XRP, and answer questions regarding the amount of $XRP institutional sales proceeds it received. 👇🏼 pic.twitter.com/lyPBSBZcJi
— Eleanor Terrett (@EleanorTerrett) February 5, 2024
Noteworthy, Ripple has been in a legal battle with the SEC for a very long time and the matter is yet to abate even with Judge Analisa Torres’ ruling on XRP. In a recent filing, the regulator made a legal demand in the U.S. court for Ripple’s 2022-2023 financial statement. This was also part of the lawsuit which has been ongoing since December 2020.
The regulator believes that the leading crypto player’s financial statements are connected to the Institutional Sales post-complaint. In the SEC’s opinion, these documents are crucial to help Judge Torres make informed decisions on XRP, as against her initial verdict.
Furthermore, the SEC explained that the financial document is useful in evaluating whether Ripple should be subject to injunctions and in determining the scale of any civil penalties.
SEC vs. Ripple: Firm Mounted Formidable Opposition
Notably, Ripple regarded this request as a strategy for the regulator to gain an upper hand in the lawsuit. In light of this, Ripple immediately opposed the SEC’s motion to gain access to its financial transactions as requested.
For its argument, the crypto payment firm presented two reasons for the court to deny the SEC’s request. Ripple highlighted that the regulator failed to ask for discovery at the appropriate time, that is, while the fact-finding process was open. As it stands, the regulator does not have good cause for further discovery concerning post-complaint sales, per Ripple’s argument.
Secondly, Ripple tagged the SEC’s request as irrelevant, citing that it does not share any bearing with the court’s remedies determination. Considering these arguments, Ripple felt that the SEC’s financial statement request would likely require a lengthy fact discovery period or even another new litigation.
Unfortunately for Ripple, the court chose to heed the SEC’s request and this may be the beginning of a tougher legal debacle for the firm in view of any potential settlement.