Telegram Refusing to Tell SEC How It Spent $1.7 Billion of ICO Cash
The United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has filed a court order on Jan. 2 to compel the messaging platform Telegram into releasing details of how the funds raised in its initial coin offering, or ICO, have been spent.
The SEC claims that the requested records are highly relevant to its ongoing case against Telegram, alleging that the $1.7 billion raised selling Gram tokens constituted an unregistered securities sale.
Request for information
The filing requests both testimony and documentation from Telegram relating to the amounts, sources and use of the funds raised from investors. Notably:
“Defendants are now refusing to disclose the bank records concerning how they have spent the $1.7 billion they raised from investors in the past two years and to answer questions about the disposition of investor funds.”
Ongoing unlicensed securities case
As Cointelegraph reported, in October the SEC announced emergency action against Telegram, alleging that its Gram token offering was actually an unlicensed securities sale. This led to a delay in the launch of the TON blockchain, although Telegram denies that the tokens are securities.
The SEC claims that the information requested in the latest filing is relevant to the ongoing case:
“The requested bank records are highly relevant to the issues in dispute in this 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.”
By Jack Martin