A third lawsuit, alleging securities fraud, was filed last week against Ripple Labs Inc, XRPII LLC, and its CEO Bradley Glaringhouse. In 28 pages, the class action suit attempts to make the case XRP is a security: issued, maintained, and supported by Ripple in clear violation of US regulatory laws. Ripple has worked extremely hard to distance itself from its cryptocurrency, XRP, in hopes of avoiding just this scenario.
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Ripple Labs Faces Third Securities Fraud Lawsuit
Managing partner of Robbins Arroyo LLP, Brian J. Robbins, filed a class action lawsuit against Ripple Labs Inc, XRPII LLC, and CEO Bradley Glaringhouse on behalf of San Diego college senior David Oconer. Signed by fax late June of this year in the San Mateo, California Superior Court, its more than two dozen pages set about making the case Ripple is in clear violation of the Howey Test.
Mr. Oconer, through his legal team, stresses how Ripple fought to manipulate the XRP price, including placing tens of millions XRP tokens into a kind of escrow, creating an arbitrary scarcity. It was also a way to signal to worried longer term investors the company would not dump the lot all at once. Indeed, XRP mooned to many hundreds of percent, the suit alleges, as a result of such moves.
It’s the third such lawsuit filed against the company since early May of this year. A common theme between each suit is the claim XRP is a security as defined under US regulatory statute – which insist Ripple Labs is the token’s puppet master indistinguishable from XRP itself. The Oconer version leans heavy on making a case for a Howey Test violation. Ripple isn’t taking any of the suits lightly, hiring two former US Securities and Exchange Commission heavies, Andrew Ceresney and Mary Jo White, as lead counsel.
XRP has long been held in a controversial light due in part to its origin story. While leading cryptos were to be mined on chain, ripples appeared ex nihilo with more than 60 percent still held by its parent company. If deemed a security, the company would be most likely ordered to cease all trading, and it’s not unusual to presume holders would be given the chance at refunds. Violations of securities law, what’s more, can also be prosecuted criminally, though those in the know believe it will not get to that stage.
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