Court records show that distributed ledger startup Ripple is being represented by two former Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) officials – including its onetime chairwoman, Mary Jo White – in an ongoing civil matter.
Twin filings reveal that White, along with Andrew Ceresney, are representing Ripple in a lawsuit first filed in May by investor Ryan Coffey. Both are currently employed at Debevoise & Plimpton, where White serves as senior chair.
Ceresney served as the SEC's director of enforcement between April 2013 and December 2016, with White serving as SEC chair between that period up until the end of the Obama administration in January of last year. Their representation of Ripple was first reported by Law.com on Monday.
Records also indicate that the case itself has moved from the San Francisco County Superior Court to the United States District Court for the Northern District of California.
As previously reported, the proposed class-action lawsuit alleges that Ripple violated state and federal securities laws. It centers around the question of whether XRP is a security, given its relationship with Ripple (which asserts that the digital asset is wholly distinct from the private company).
The lawsuit names XRP II, Ripple's registered and licensed MSB, and CEO Brad Garlinghouse among the defendants.
Back in May, the company disputed the basis of the lawsuit and reiterated that it doesn't believe XRP is a security.
"Like any civil proceeding, we'll assess the merit or lack of merit to the allegations at the appropriate time. Whether or not XRP is a security is for the SEC to decide. We continue to believe XRP should not be classified as a security," Tom Channick, Ripple's head of corporate communications, told CoinDesk at the time.
In a statement sent to CoinDesk following the publication of this article, Ripple said:
"We're ready to fight this opportunistic suit in the appropriate federal court. We feel confident that the claims regarding XRP are completely unfounded both in law and fact."
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