Judge Grants SEC Request, Extends Deadline in Ripple Case

By Aaron Feuerstein March 04, 2024 In Cryptocurrency, Ripple, SEC, XRP
Source: Adobe Stock
  • Judge Analisa Torres extends deadlines for the SEC and Ripple, allowing more time for filings in the ongoing case.
  • Ripple had achieved a significant victory as the SEC dropped charges against its CEO and Executive Chairman, though complexities remain.
  • Legal experts speculate on strategic moves by the SEC, suggesting a quicker path to appellate court.

In a significant development within the ongoing legal saga between Ripple Labs and the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), United States District Court Judge Analisa Torres has granted the SEC’s request for an extension to file its remedies-related discovery materials. This move marks another chapter in a case that has captivated the crypto community since its inception in December 2020.

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The court documents filed on March 1 indicate a structured timeline for the next phases of the case. The SEC has been given until March 22 to submit its opening brief, while Ripple has until April 22 to file their opposition brief.

The final deadline for the SEC to submit a reply has been set for May 6, 2024. These developments come against the backdrop of a lawsuit initiated by the SEC, which accused Ripple and its top executives of conducting a USD $1.3 billion unregistered securities offering via sales of the XRP token.


XRP A Security? Only in Limited Circumstances

Ripple’s defence has been centred around the argument that XRP does not constitute a security and that the SEC did not provide fair notice concerning its classification. The case has delved into complex discussions about the Howey test, a criterion used to determine whether transactions qualify as “investment contracts” under US law.

In July 2023, Judge Torres handed down a nuanced ruling, determining that while XRP was not a security in the context of its sales on digital asset exchanges, it was deemed a security when sold to institutional investors.

Parties Agree on Dismissal

Later in October a significant development unfolded as the SEC dropped its charges against Ripple CEO Brad Garlinghouse and Executive Chairman Chris Larsen, who were previously accused of recklessly aiding and abetting Ripple in the sale of XRP as a security.

This decision was not the result of a settlement deal but was seen by many, including Garlinghouse, as a substantial victory for Ripple, albeit with a recognition of the personal toll the lawsuit has inflicted on the individuals involved.

The SEC repeatedly kept its eye off the ball while secretly meeting with the likes of SBF – failing again and again to protect US consumers & businesses. How many millions of taxpayer $ were wasted?!

Ripple CEO Brad Garlinghouse

Attorney John E. Deaton, who is now also running for a political office, pointed out that a trial could have led to significant challenges for the SEC, particularly the potential testimony of Bill Hinman, a former SEC official.

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The testimony could have been problematic for the SEC, potentially exposing the agency to questions or evidence that might undermine its position regarding the institutional sales of XRP. Furthermore, Deaton suggested that a trial could have unveiled additional facts that might negatively impact the SEC’s chances of success in its claims against Ripple’s institutional sales practices.

Aaron Feuerstein

Aaron Feuerstein

Aaron Feuerstein is a freelance writer based in Melbourne. His focus is on decentralised finance and the regulatory space surrounding blockchain. He holds a Master's in Accounting. When he is not studying the latest legal case, he enjoys his time as a modest but eager hobby cook.

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