SEC Wants Telegram’s Investment Adviser to Testify in London

The US regulators want the High Court of England and Wales to help acquire deposition from Telegram’s chief investment adviser John Hyman, a UK citizen, as the case regarding its token sale continues.

A US court has ruled earlier that three Telegram executives, including CEO Pavel Durov, should testify in the case filed against the company by the SEC at a location mutually agreed by both parties.

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The Securities Exchange Commission wants Hyman to deliver information and documents that may be used to support its claims against the encrypted messaging app’s controversial ICO. The agency requires the former executive to testify before February 18 and 19 when the district court will schedule a hearing for a preliminary injunction and other case motions.

If approved by the UK authorities, Hyman is supposedly to be deposed at an agreed-upon location in London. According to the filing, he initially agreed to testify voluntarily when the SEC approached his counsel in the UK, but since then he hasn’t responded to follow-up requests to appear for his deposition.

The documents clearly state Hyman’s position at the company, saying his name was a part of several letters Telegram had written to investors, which was leaked to the public following the SEC’s decision to sue Telegram.

A list of topics for the deposition

During his time as Telegram’s chief investment adviser, Mr. Hyman communicated with Grams investors, says the SEC, adding that he currently works at “Gram Vault,” an entity that appears to be “a provider of safekeeping, trading and staking services to investors in the Telegram blockchain.” The evidence sought from this witness thus pertains to the court charges that Telegram ICO violated United States securities laws.

The order further states that Hyman’s deposition doesn’t mean he is a defendant, but only a witness in the matter, and the SEC is not seeking any relief against him.

It also compels the SEC to provide the former advisor with a list of topics for the deposition, including his prior role, instructions given to him and his communications with the token buyers.

Telegram sold its Gram virtual coins in two private funding rounds, with proceeds going to create a decentralized network for the app. At the time, Telegram already reported to the SEC that it had raised the funds in private placements, which were used to develop TON blockchain. Since the ICO excluded retail investors, the firm claimed an exemption from US requirements to register their tokens as a security until the SEC has stepped in to halt Telegram crypto ambition.

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