Telegram Founder Pavel Durov to Give Deposition in Gram Token Case
Telegram founder Pavel Durov will give a deposition regarding U.S. SEC accusations that Telegram’s native GRAM token is a security.
In the latest chapter of Telegram's legal battle with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), the firm’s founder Pavel Durov will give a deposition along with two Telegram employees.
On Nov. 25, District Judge P. Kevin Castel of the New York Southern District Court ruled that the deposition will take place on Jan. 7 or 8, 2020, at a location agreed upon by the relevant parties.
Ilya Perekopsky, vice-president of Telegram, will testify as well. Perekopsky’s deposition is set for Dec. 16, 2019. The deposition of Shyam Parekh, a Telegram employee engaged in the $1.7 billion Gram (GRAM) sale, will be held on Dec. 10, 2019.
Durov will testify regarding the SEC’s claims that Telegram engaged in the sale of unregistered securities when it sold its Gram tokens to vetted investors. Following the SEC’s accusations, Telegram filed a counterclaim on Oct. 16, where the firm argued that its native crypto is not a security and a request for a preliminary injunction against the firm should be denied.
As a result of the SEC’s injunction against Telegram, the Telegram Open Network’s (TON) long-anticipated launch on Oct. 31 was delayed.
Purchase agreements for the Gram token sale stipulated that if the network failed to launch by that date, investors in the token would be eligible for a refund, following a vote.
Telegram thus sent them a proposal to formally postpone the network launch or to return a portion of their funds. Eventually, investors in TON and the GRAM token sale voted against a refund, which pushed back the tentative launch date to April 2020.
Telegram’s court appearance — which was initially scheduled for Oct. 24 — was postponed until late February 2020, as both the firm and the SEC explore the complexities of the case and whether there is one. In a letter to investors published on Oct. 19, Telegram said that the rescheduling of recent hearings until Feb. 18–19, 2020 is a positive step toward its regulatory issues being resolved.