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The SEC & Telegram case: a mysterious investor pops up
The SEC & Telegram case: a mysterious investor pops up
Blockchain

The SEC & Telegram case: a mysterious investor pops up

By Eleonora Spagnolo - 20 Feb 2020

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An anonymous investment fund has asked permission to keep secret documents relating to the Telegram case and the litigation initiated by the SEC. These were allegedly documents that the SEC itself had filed with the Court handling the case initiated shortly before Telegram launched its TON blockchain and Gram token.

The company is represented by attorney Philip M. Bowman of New York and identifies itself as “Investor F”. The attorney, in a document sent to the New York District Court and the SEC, asks that certain evidence against Telegram remain secret. 

Among them would be the “Tenreiro letter”. It would be a letter that analyzes the participation of this mysterious investor who was supposed to be a Telegram validator and could have offered custody services for the Gram token. The letter would contain a discussion about the commercial strategy that the investor was setting up to take part in the launch of TON and the Gram token. It would be an exchange of emails analyzing the risks and benefits of investing in a digital asset such as the Gram token and concluding with a decision on how, when and how much to invest. 

It was Investor F himself who provided the documents requested by the SEC, but he appears significantly concerned that the disclosure of the documents would be damaging because the information is commercially sensitive. In short, business secrets should remain so, at least for investor F who provided them to the SEC with an unambiguous label: “Confidential”. 

In fact, if disclosed, investor F’s competitors could understand how the mysterious company matures its strategic choices and investment decisions.

However, these documents have now become part of a court case, and therefore should be transparent so that the prosecution and defence can study the counter-movements. Investor F argues against this principle, citing a number of precedents in which sensitive documents have remained confidential. 

In the case of the letter in question, making it public would cause investor F “inconvenience, embarrassment, oppression or undue burden or expense” in addition to commercial damages. All of which are reasons justifying the request to keep the documents confidential. 

It remains to be seen whether the reasons will be sufficient for the court or the SEC. If not, it will reveal this mysterious company and the strategy that was driving it to invest in Telegram. 

The SEC & Telegram case

Telegram had to postpone the launch of the Gram token after the SEC sued the company for illegally selling the Gram token. The SEC then asked Telegram for a report on how it had spent the funds raised through the ICO, but Telegram refused. In the meantime, the pre-sale of the Gram token was suspended and the investors reimbursed.

It is likely that the launch of the Telegram blockchain and the Gram token will have to wait until the legal matter is resolved. 

Eleonora Spagnolo
Eleonora Spagnolo

Journalist passionate about the web and the digital world. She graduated with honours in Multimedia Publishing at the University La Sapienza in Rome and completed a master's degree in Web and Social Media Marketing.

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