A judge has denied the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission’s request for documents related to Ripple’s XRP transactions and lobbying efforts that took place after the SEC filed its lawsuit last December, according to a new legal filing.
- “As discussed in the Court’s earlier Opinion and Order denying access to Ripple’s privileged communications, Ripple’s fair notice defense centers on the activities of the SEC, not its own behaviors,” wrote U.S. Magistrate Judge Sarah Netburn, who is overseeing discovery in the SEC v. Ripple Labs lawsuit.
- Netburn also cited her ruling last month, saying: “Ripple focuses on the SEC’s failure to provide fair notice to the market about the Commission’s state of mind as to whether XRP qualified as a security. It is not clear that such a defense even requires that a defendant act in good faith.”
- But Netburn granted, in part, the SEC’s request for additional depositions, allowing the agency to seek information directly from former Ripple employees Ron Will, Ethan Beard, Phil Rapoport and Ryan Zagone as well as Christian Gil, co-founder of crypto trading firm and liquidity provider GSR. However, she denied the SEC’s request for a sixth deposition to “cover any gaps in knowledge that these witnesses may have” without prejudice, saying it was “unripe.”
- The judge also granted the SEC’s request for Ripple to produce documents from Ryan Zagone, Ripple’s former head of regulatory affairs, and Cameron Kinloch, Ripple’s head of finance. However, she ruled that the records of Ripple’s general counsels and deputy general counsel are off-limits “as the Court interprets these requests to be highly burdensome, likely to be mostly privileged communications, and unreasonably cumulative or duplicative of searches already performed.”
- The SEC filed a lawsuit against Ripple last December, alleging that its sale of XRP was an unregistered securities offering worth over US$1.38 billion. The SEC also named Ripple’s CEO Brad Garlinghouse and executive chairman Chris Larsen as co-defendants for allegedly aiding and abetting Ripple’s violations. The lawsuit is currently in its discovery phase, with the SEC and Ripple battling over the information to be shared with the other side.