US Judge Orders UK Court to Depose Telegram's Advisor About Token Sale

U.S. District Court Judge P. Kevin Castel in New York signed an order to Britain's High Court to depose John Hyman, Telegram's chief investment officer.

AccessTimeIconDec 10, 2019 at 8:24 p.m. UTC
Updated Sep 13, 2021 at 11:47 a.m. UTC
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U.S. District Court Judge P. Kevin Castel in New York signed an order to Britain's High Court to depose John Hyman, Telegram's chief investment advisor.

The motion, requested by the SEC last week and granted Monday, seeks testimony and documents from Hyman related to his work raising funds for Telegram's blockchain project TON. The request was filed by SEC official Jorge Tenreiro, according to the signed order.

The request for international judicial assistance asks the High Court of England and Wales to have Hyman "appear before an examiner or other appropriate judicial authority in England and Wales" for a deposition.

"It has been demonstrated to this Court that justice cannot be done amongst the parties to the Action without the testimony of Mr. Hyman... This Court requests the assistance of an appropriate English judicial officer to compel the appearance of Mr. Hyman to give oral sworn testimony and to produce documents on the subject matters and for the date ranges as described in this Request," the order says.

The motion is a part of ongoing litigation by the SEC seeking to halt the release of the TON blockchain and the issuance of the project's tokens, known as grams. The SEC believes grams are unregistered securities, sold by Telegram to a number of notable American investors and ready to flood the U.S. capital market.

Telegram refuted that charge, saying it had sought guidance from the SEC on how to avoid having grams classified as securities but didn't hear from the regulator. Telegram registered its token pre-sale as an exempt offering under the Regulation D in February and March 2018.

The court previously requested the depositions of Telegram's leadership, including founder and CEO Pavel Durov. Telegram Telegram's investment relations staffer Shyam Parekh was scheduled to be questioned Tuesday in London.

Vice President Ilya Perekopsky is scheduled to be questioned in London on Dec. 16. CEO Durov is expected to be deposed Jan. 7 or 8, 2020, in an undisclosed location. Telegram will meet the SEC in court Feb. 18-19.

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