SEC Refuses Request For Information On Disputed Tezos ICO In Ongoing Lawsuit

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC[1]) declined to provide information on Blockchain[2] project Tezos[3] requested by attorney David Silver via the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA)[4], Reuters reported Feb. 10[5].

Silver represents plaintiffs in a lawsuit filed against Tezos back in November, 2017[6], the second of several lawsuits against the company since it gathered $232 mln in a record-breaking ICO in July, 2017[7].

In the response letter to Silver’s request for information, the SEC denied information disclosure regarding Tezos, citing Exemption 7(A) of FOIA. According to Reuters, the letter did not imply that Trezor was under SEC investigation.

The SEC stated in the letter that such an exemption is used when the release of information could “be expected to interfere with enforcement activities”:

“This exemption protects from disclosure records compiled for law enforcement purposes, the release of which could reasonably be expected to interfere with enforcement activities. Since Exemption 7(A) protects the records from disclosure, we have not determined if other exemptions apply. Therefore, we reserve the right to assert other exemptions when Exemption 7(A) no longer applies,”

Tezos[8] ICO, in second place in terms of most funds raised by any ICO, has been a subject of scrutiny and multiple lawsuits[9] since over the question of its compliance with SEC regulations. The lawsuits claim that during their ICO Tezos was selling securities to US investors without registration and approval of the SEC.

During the SEC and CFTC hearings Feb. 6[10], Jay Clayton, chairman of the SEC, emphasized that many ICOs are violating existing laws and warned that ICOs to “should pay more attention” since the SEC will investigate those potential violations further.