Ripple CEO Brad Garlinghouse and co-founder Chris Larsen have filed a motion requesting the United States Securities and Exchange Commission investigate Bitfinex’s parent company, iFinex, and 14 other international crypto exchanges.
Wednesday’s motion requests documents from exchanges including iFinex, Bitforex, Bithumb, Bitlish, BitMart, AscendEX (formerly Bitmax), Bitrue Singapore, Bitstamp, Coinbene, HitBTC, Huobi Global, Korbit, OKEx, Upbit Singapore and ZB Network Technology
The motion’s supporting memorandum notes the letters of request solicit assistance from authorities in the Cayman Islands, Hong Kong, South Korea, the United Kingdom, Singapore, Seychelles and Malta.
The SEC’s amended complaint against Ripple accuses Garlinghouse and Larsen of selling more than 2 billion units of XRP to “public investors” located “all over the world,” with the SEC seeking disgorgement from Ripple’s executives based on the sales.
Ripple’s executives deny the SEC’s allegations that they violated Section 5 of the 1933 Securities Act, emphasizing that Section 5 specifically prohibits the domestic sale of securities without a registration statement. Garlinghouse and Larsen’s legal representation counter that their XRP sales were conducted on foreign exchanges and thus outside of the SEC’s jurisdiction:
“In the case of transactions conducted on such foreign trading platforms, both the offers of XRP and the sales of XRP occurred on the books and records of the respective platforms, and therefore geographically outside the United States. The SEC’s failure to allege domestic offers and sales should be fatal to its claims.”
Ripple asserts the exchanges and related entities subject to its new motion “possess unique documents and information” regarding Ripple’s legal battle with the SEC, specifically concerning “the process by which transactions in XRP allegedly conducted by the Individual Defendants on foreign digital asset trading platforms were conducted.”
The SEC amended its complaint against Ripple and the firm’s executives in February, alleging their sales of XRP suppressed the crypto asset’s price. The complaint also accuses Garlinghouse and Larsen of misleading public investors while offloading billions of dollars worth of XRP as Garlinghouse repeatedly claimed he was “very long” on XRP during the time of the alleged sales.
The filing comes just days after a significant blow was dealt to the SEC’s case against Ripple, with the court rejecting the SEC’s bid to access communications between Ripple and its legal counsel.