SEC Claims Telegram Injunction Applies to ‘Any Person or Entity’

The United States Securities and Exchange Commission has opposed Telegram’s request for clarity regarding the geographic scope of a court injunction barring the company from distributing its Gram (GRAM) tokens.

In a letter to Judge Castel dated March 30, the SEC asserts that the injunction “unambiguously, and properly, applies to Telegram’s delivery of Grams to ‘any person or entity’ […] and requires no clarification.”

The Gram tokens correspond to the firm’s $1.7 billion initial coin offering that raised money to launch the Telegram Open Network — or TON — in 2018.

SEC claims injunction unambiguously applies to “any person or entity”

On March 27, Telegram’s lawyers filed a letter requesting that the court clarify whether the court’s March 24 injunction has jurisdiction outside of the United States.

The letter noted that while the Supreme Court has previously recognized “a ‘presumption against extraterritorial applications’ of the U.S. securities laws.’” As such, Telegram is seeking to distribute tokens to the investors that represent the $1.27 billion that the firm raised from outside of the United States.

The SEC describes Telegram’s letter as “procedurally barred and legally meritless” — citing its injunction request, which sought to prevent Telegram from “delivering Grams to any person or entity or taking any other steps to effect any unregistered offer or sale of Grams.”

Despite the firm’s letter being “styled as a request for ‘clarity,’” the SEC asserts that “Telegram’s request is really a motion for reconsideration in disguise.”

TON community may seek to launch network despite court ruling

On March 24, Judge Castel ruled that the SEC had “shown a substantial likelihood of success” in seeking to prove that Telegram’s token issuance would distribute unregistered securities — granting a preliminary injunction against the firm from delivering Gram tokens to investors. Telegram immediately appealed Judge Castel’s ruling.

Two days later, the founder of the TON Community Foundation revealed to Cointelegraph that the community was considering launching the network itself, as the code is open-source. Daniel Perez, the head of TON Spain, added:

“No one can prevent the launch of TON by any other entity, person or a community, [be]cause TON is a decentralized open-source solution. Already, there are two different test networks, and within the community, there is at least 1 group planning to launch the third.”

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