The documents may provide critical evidence that CEO Brad Garlinghouse was acting outside of the SEC’s jurisdiction.
The ongoing case between fintech firm Ripple and the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) took another turn this week when the company was granted access to Binance's documents.
U.S. Magistrate Judge Sarah Netburn granted Ripple CEO Brad Garlinghouse’s motion to “Obtain international discovery” of Binance records. According to the docket, the approval was made on August 3 while a duplicate request was denied:
“ORDER granting 274 Letter Motion for Discovery. The Court will communicate with counsel to arrange delivery of the letters.”
As part of the case against Ripple for selling unregistered securities, the SEC claims that Garlinghouse sold more than 357 million XRP tokens on crypto trading platforms to investors “all over the world.”
The legal team representing Garlinghouse requested documents “relevant to the case and unobtainable through other means” from Binance Holdings Limited on August 2.
The filing stated that the Ripple CEO sought foreign discovery on the basis of his good faith belief that Binance possessed unique documents and information concerning this case. The records concern XRP transactions that were allegedly conducted by Garlinghouse and may provide evidence that the Ripple executive made the transactions outside the jurisdiction of the SEC.
Ripple’s legal team cited Section Five of the 1933 Securities Act, stating the alleged illegal XRP sales applied only to domestic sales and securities offers. The lawyers stated that Garlinghouse’s sales of XRP were “overwhelmingly made on digital asset trading platforms outside of the United States” and are not subject to the law that the SEC has invoked.
In June, Garlinghouse and Larsen filed a motion petitioning international authorities to request documents from several other non-U.S.-based crypto exchanges including Bitstamp, Huobi, and Upbit.
Ripple also argues that the SEC cannot regulate XRP as a security because it is a medium of exchange used for international and domestic transactions. In mid-July Judge Netburn allowed the firm to depose William Hinman, a former SEC official who stated publicly that ETH was not a security.
The lawsuit began in December 2020 when the SEC filed against Ripple alleging that Garlinghouse and co-founder Chris Larsen had been conducting an “unregistered, ongoing digital asset securities offering” with their XRP token sales.