Attorneys for investors suing a secure messaging app want the judge’s permission to use “alternative means” to serve the firm’s executives with papers, saying they’ve been unable to reach them through traditional means.
- Court documents are typically served via mail or delivered in person to defendants, but plaintiffs bringing the case against Switzerland-based Status filed a motion Monday asking the court to allow its top executives to be served through the firm’s attorneys, or via email and social media accounts.
- Status CEO Jarrad Hope and Chief Communications Officer Carl Bennetts were named as individual defendants in the class-action lawsuit filed in April.
- The suit alleges the $100 million raised in its initial coin offering (ICO) through the sale of Status’ native SNT token in 2017 was an unregistered securities sale and demands a trial by jury.
- According to Monday’s motion, plaintiff’s counsel undertook “exhaustive efforts” to locate Hope and Bennetts who are supposedly residing in Switzerland.
- They were, however, unsuccessful in retrieving an address for either executive, despite expending resources searching through social media, registries and even employing a private investigator.
- The letter also specified an attempt to serve them through the 1965 Hague Convention, on the service of judicial documents abroad. This effort fell through because the defendants’ addresses were unknown.
- The motion alleges Status executives have been avoiding being served, after attorneys for the plaintiffs attempted to serve the executives through Status' counsel.
- “Indeed, Mr. Nagy, counsel for Status, has represented that he spoke to one of the Individual Defendants by phone about accepting service in this suit, but this individual did not authorize Mr. Nagy to accept service on his behalf,” the motion said.
- The lawsuit against Status is one of a number of token offerings accused of violating the U.S. federal and state security laws, with the Securities and Exchange Commission taking two messaging apps (Telegram and Kik) to court over similar allegations in the last year.
- The plaintiffs will now await a court order approving alternative means of service to let the suit proceed.
Read the motion and full complaint below: