Telegram Under Scrutiny by the SEC for its $1.7 billion Token Sale; Former Chief Investment Advisor Issued a Deposition to Testify

According to the filings made through the U.S District Court in New York, SEC’s main agenda is to stop the launch of Telegram’s blockchain ‘TON’ which is to be accompanied by its native token sale ‘grams’. The commission has in the past touted grams to be unregistered tokens as per the securities legislations.

Bone of Contention

Hyman who has previously worked with Renaissance Capital and Morgan Stanley currently resides in the United Kingdom. The SEC now wants the former Telegram advisor to testify given his close involvement in TON’s token sales over the course of 2018 and part of 2019.

Emails by Hyman to Telegram investors reveal that the firm may have breached some procedures in raising its $1.7 billion during the pre-token sale.

Some of the irregularities in the email threads to investors include a follow-up on the gram token secondary prices despite Telegram’s intention wait until its network is running for valuation in the grey market. Hyman had also stated in the past that Telegram would have a 3rd round token sale for private investors but this never happened.

In addition, advise to HODL gram tokens did not hold water for the TON investors as the tokens were accepted by several crypto markets/stakeholders.

Pavel Durov, the CEO of Telegram, had introduced Hyman to a fair number of potential investors. These include popular figures in the FinTech arena like Softbank’s Rajeev Misra and Dave Munichiello from Google Ventures.

These are some of the interactions that the SEC is after but so far has met resistance from Hyman who is yet to comply with a deposition issued against him.

Earlier on, Hyman through his counsel Greg Campbell had agreed to appear for talks with the SEC.

This has however took a different turn after Campbell went dark on the SEC ignoring emails and calls from the commission. The SEC has stood its ground that gram tokens are not exempted under the Regulation D securities and therefore Telegram mislead its investors during the token sale.

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Author: Lujan Odera

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