Pro-XRP Lawyer Foresees Significant Decrease in Ripple's SEC Settlement Payout — Here's Why
John Deaton, the founder of CryptoLaw, has suggested that Ripple may not be required to pay the speculated $770 million in disgorgement fees, which the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has been seeking in the lawsuit against Ripple.
In Friday’s tweet, the pro-Ripple lawyer argued that the SEC’s efforts to seek disgorgement for XRP sales in the United Kingdom, Japan, Switzerland, and other countries may be legally unattainable due to the Supreme Court’s Morrison ruling. Notably, this ruling specifically excludes sales outside of the United States.
Furthermore, Deaton pointed out that XRP is regarded as a non-security in the aforementioned nations and other jurisdictions. Notably, the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and Japan’s Financial Services Agency (FSA) classify XRP as an exchange or utility token rather than a security token. Deaton noted that this distinction makes it challenging for the SEC to enforce disgorgement on XRP sales in these regions.
He further emphasized that selling XRP remains entirely legal in these jurisdictions, according to their respective regulatory authorities, further weakening the SEC’s case for disgorgement.
He then expressed his belief that the likelihood of a $770 million fine is low, as sales to accredited investors and non-U.S. sales, which could account for more than 90% of the total, will likely be excluded from the final disgorgement amount.
Deaton also highlighted the nature of On-Demand Liquidity (ODL) transactions involving XRP, which occur within seconds. Due to the rapid transaction speed, he argued that harm is practically non-existent in the case of ODL transactions. He also noted that for the 75,000 XRP holders who have joined the lawsuit, any accusations of harm would be directed at the SEC rather than Ripple.
He outlined a highly optimistic scenario in which Ripple may only need to pay a minimal amount, potentially as low as $20 million, in disgorgement fees.
Further, in a playful twist earlier on Saturday, Deaton suggested that if the presiding Judge decides to deduct the $150 million in legal fees that Ripple has already paid, the SEC could potentially owe money to Ripple.
“The Supreme Court ruled disgorgement is not punitive in nature and cannot exceed “net profits” from the sales. A company can deduct legitimate business expenses… After deducting foreign sales, sales to accredited investors, and ODL transactions, if the Judge deducts the $150M in legal fees Ripple paid, the SEC might owe Ripple money.” He tweeted.
That said, Deaton’s latest remarks have stirred up anticipation within the crypto community, leaving many speculating about the final settlement amount and its potential implications for Ripple and its leadership. Nevertheless, amid these legal developments, XRP, Ripple’s native token, has displayed remarkable resilience, surging by about 4% over the past 24 hours to trade at $0.675 at press time.
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