Court Threatens To Sanction SEC Over Legal Battle With Crypto Firm, Here’s Why


A US district Court has cautioned the US SEC on a series of misinterpretations in its allegations against crypto firm Debt Box. The Court has threatened official sanctions if the regulatory body fails to substantiate its claims. 

Court Questions SEC Attorney’s Inaccuracies In Crypto Case

United States District Judge Robert Shelby has called out attorneys of the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) for several inconsistencies in its statements and claims against Debt Box, a blockchain technology network. 

Earlier in August 2023 the SEC had obtained a warrant for a temporary asset freeze and restraining order against Debt Box. According to the SEC, Debt Box had allegedly violated securities laws by selling unregistered securities termed “node licenses” and defrauding investors of at least $49 million. 

In the court filing, Michael Welsh, US SEC attorney, had made various allegations against Debt Box. The Commission had informed Judge Shelby that Debt Box was allegedly attempting to relocate its assets and investor funds overseas, potentially evading US regulators. 

“Even in the last 48 hours Defendants have closed additional bank accounts, and I believe the number, I don’t have it in front of me, was around 33 bank accounts have been closed.”

He added that “mere days before the TRO Hearing, consistent with counsel’s representation to the Court, the Commission learned that a substantial portion of the funds held in two bank accounts controlled by Defendants, including one controlled by DEBT Box, had been substantially drained of assets.”

In response to the SEC’s claims, Debt Box Attorneys, and DEBT Council Defendants presented evidence that sufficiently counteracted the SEC’s allegations. The defendants provided documents showing that the majority of the 33 accounts mentioned by the SEC were closed by the bank and not the defendant. 

Furthermore, Debt Box attorneys disclosed that the company had started its plans to move to the United Arab Emirates (UAE), a year before the Commission requested a Temporary Restraining Order (TRO). Lastly, the defendants clarified that the $720,000 funds drained from closed accounts were transferred to a Mountain America Credit Union and not overseas.

Considering the significant disparities in the SEC’s allegations and the regulator’s lack of substantial evidence, the Court has issued a “Show Cause Order.” This mandates the US SEC to provide evidence and information substantiating its multiple misstatements and misinterpretations. 

Crypto total market cap chart from Tradingview.com (SEC Crypto firm)

Total market cap at $1.426 trillion | Source: Crypto Total Market Cap on Tradingview.com

Judge Issues Show Cause Order

Following Judge Robert Shelby’s identification of the SEC’s multiple misinterpretations of allegations against Debt Box, he outlined five specific misstatements and ordered the regulator to address them. 

The Judge emphasized to the SEC that a failure to provide proper information and evidence to its claims would result in a violation of Rule 11(b), asserting that the SEC provided materially false and misleading information. 

In conclusion, the Court has given the US SEC 14 days to respond to the orders and a failure to comply or provide proper information would result in the applicable sanctions.

Featured image from Crypto News, chart from Tradingview.com

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