Crypto Class Action Asks to Use Social Media to Wrangle Flighty ICO Issuer

Plaintiffs as the court to authorize communication via email and Twitter to Status co-founders as part of a class-action lawsuit over SNT’s ICO.

Plaintiffs in a class-action lawsuit against Status and its 2017 initial coin offering of the Status Network Token (SNT) are asking the judge to authorize official document delivery, or serving, via alternative channels like Twitter and emails.

In court documents obtained by Cointelegraph and filed on Aug. 3, the judge is presented with a ready-to-sign motion outlining alternative methods for class-action plaintiffs to serve case files to Jarrad Hope and Carl Bennetts, both co-founders of Status. 

Social media for sending the law

Specifically, the motion would allow the plaintiffs to contact the co-founders via their Twitter and LinkedIn accounts, personal and Status emails, and any general inquiry address for the company.

This represents a notable departure from standard court procedure. Traditionally, case files need to be physically served to the defendants in order to give them a reasonable way of finding out about the development of the case.

Given that the legal entity behind Status is a Swiss-based foundation, and both Hope and Bennetts are believed to reside in Zug, serving documents in person becomes difficult.

The case was filed in the Southern District of New York, a major hotbed for crypto-related lawsuits.

Law firms Roche Cyrulnik Freedman and Selendy & Gay are behind the case. The former is also acting as the legal representative of the Kleiman estate in the Craig Wright vs. Kleiman case, in addition to the class-action lawsuit against Tether.

In the Kleiman case, the firm already “served” a case via Twitter in March to the former CEO of nChain.

Neither Status nor Roche Cyrulnik Freedman had returned Cointelegraph’s request for comment as of press time. 

Lawsuits against alleged securities

As Cointelegraph previously reported, the case against Status is one of 11 class-action lawsuits levied against a variety of ICO issuers and exchanges. The plaintiffs believe that these companies sold unregistered securities to U.S. investors in violation of the relevant laws. Other companies and projects targeted include Block.One, Bancor, Kyber Network, Tron, OmiseGo, Aave and others.

Furthermore, the lawsuit claims that these issuers attempted to hide the extent to which these tokens were securities during the sale. According to the lawsuit, SNT is a token similar to EOS, which was deemed a security by the SEC in its $24 million settlement.

These projects represent some of the earliest ICOs issued before the DAO Report, after which most new offerings began to ban U.S. residents from participating.

It is unclear if the judge will consent to these alternative communication methods, though the Covid-19 pandemic and the international nature of these teams could play into the plaintiffs’ hand.

Publication date: 
08/05/2020 - 20:35
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