Judge Orders Telegram Founder to Testify in SEC Case

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Telegram founder and CEO Pavel Durov and Vice President Ilya Perekopsky should both testify in the company’s case against the Securities Exchange Commission (SEC), a US federal judge has ruled. District Judge P. Kevin Castel at the New York Southern District Court signed a document this week that presses for Durov, Perekopsky, and a third employee, Shyam Parekh, to give evidence as the agency prepares its case against the messaging platform, who were forced to halt their GRAM token distribution last month due to the SEC stating that it was an unlicensed security.

Chilly Winter Ahead for Telegram Execs

According to the filing, Durov will be deposed “on January 7 or 8, 2020, as necessary,” at a location yet to be decided. Perekopsky will likely be questioned in London on December 16, while Parekh will be asked to provide pre-trial testimony on December 10, also in London. Parekh came to the attention to SEC investigators after his name featured on investor letters that were leaked to the SEC after they sued the company.

Telegram’s long-awaited ICO was heading down the finishing straight last month when the SEC put on the brakes, telling the Russian company it wasn’t allowed to sell what amounted to unlicensed securities, halting the distribution at the eleventh hour after the token had been in the works for close to two years.

Telegram Yet to Update April 2020 Target

The SEC filed an ‘emergency action’ to stop Telegram distributing tokens to investors, giving Telegram no choice but to comply and consider their next moves. First and second round investors were asked to vote privately on an ‘all-or-no one’ refund, while at the same time the company worked to “resolve the SEC’s lawsuit and work with other governmental authorities”. Telegram initially put the token distribution back to April 2020, but the SEC could have something to say about that.