Is The US SEC Playing Back Foot With Ripple’s Offensive In Court?

The US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is facing the heat from several directions. The US regulatory watchdogs had joined forces in an ongoing battle with fintech firm Ripple Labs. Here, the accused had carried out offensive attacks against the SEC, allegedly to put it in the back seat.

An action filed by Empower Oversight Whistleblowers & Research, last year the SEC wanted comply with with a Freedom of Information Act. It was related to potential conflicts of interest in its cryptocurrency-related enforcement decisions.

Now the two agencies have made headlines with the latest update.

Another kickback

On February 25, SEC released emails to Empower Oversight in a crypto conflict lawsuit – obtained the first documents of the SEC as a result of this lawsuit under FOIA. The said documents include emails between two now former senior SEC officials, Simpson Thacher & Bartlett.

It included 1,053 pages of emails related to William Hinman, the former director of the SEC’s Division of Corporation Finance, and 46 pages of emails related to Marc Berger, the former acting director of the SEC’s Enforcement Division.

However, because of formatting issues, many of those pages were almost completely blank and contained duplicate information. Nevertheless, the authority appreciated this move by the SEC.

Jason FosterEmpower Oversight Founder and President stated:

“This first SEC production of documents is a step in the right direction, but it must fulfill its promise to conduct additional searches to meet its legal obligation to transparency. Empower Oversight will not yield to its commitment to accountability through the public’s right to know.”

In addition, at the request of the SEC, the said agency has issued a detailed list of people associated with the entities mentioned in the FOIA. John Deaton, a famous attorney in the SEC Ripple lawsuit, was one of them.

The SEC formally responded to the complaint dated February 18, 2022. Denying that it had failed to fulfill its legal obligations under FOIA. Provide supervision in the first instance archived its FOIA filing with the SEC on August 12, 2021.

Different readers had different stories, but mostly against the SEC. For example, one user, Crypto Mark, hit SEC for the issue discussed above. He claimed

“Unfortunately, the SEC will never send you the correct full emails. They will do everything they can to avoid the correct searches. You may have to include their email addresses in the search, as well as only their full names.”

Another tweeted:

Overall, it was off to a bad start for US regulatory watchdogs in both active lawsuits. Can the SEC come up with an impactful approach in time?

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