The SEC argued that just because it approves an S-1 filing from a company does not mean the firm is not operating or will not operate in “violation of the law.”
The United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has argued in court that approving a firm’s S-1 application to go public does not represent a “blessing” from the agency, nor does it provide a verification that the business is regulatory compliant.
In the interest of transparency, here is the transcript from our hearing yesterday in the SDNY case brought against us by the SEC. We appreciate the Court’s careful consideration. https://t.co/NEEsr05fos
As per July 13 court documents from the pre-motion hearing of the SEC vs. Coinbase case, the SEC asserted that it was not signing off on Coinbase’s business structure when giving it the greenlight to go public back in April 2021.
“Your Honor, I’ll say that simply because the SEC allows a company to go public does not mean that the SEC is blessing the underlying business or the underlying business structure or saying that the underlying business structure is not in violation of the law,” SEC trial counsel Peter Mancuso said, adding that:
On Crypto Twitter, several people, including Gemini co-founder Cameron Winklevoss highlighted the implications of such statements, as it questions why the SEC would allow a supposedly noncompliant business to go public in the first place, given that its goal is to protect U.S. consumers.
so they allow ipo for illegal business and let americans invest in it? lmao sec is cooked
U.S.-based firms are required to submit an S-1 filing with the SEC before they can start listing shares on a national stock exchange. As part of the filing, companies must provide a comprehensive rundown of their business structure and how proceeds from an initial public offering will be used.
Following Mancuso’s comments, U.S. District Judge Katherine Polk Failia said: “Let’s just pause so I can just sort of get rid of the skepticism I currently have as I hear that answer,” as she raised some questions.
“I am not saying that the commission should be omniscient at the time it’s evaluating a registration statement and that it should know all things,” she said, adding:
In response, Mancuso ultimately reiterated the SEC’s argument that the S-1 filings are more focused on approving company disclosures rather than the agency itself signing off on a business structure via approval.
Failia then posited to Mancuso if the SEC could not have said to Coinbase: “Hey, you guys need to register as a securities exchange.”
“That was within the power of the SEC to do, was it not?” she questioned.
“I can’t really speak to that,” Mancuso replied.
The SEC initially charged Coinbase for alleged unregistered securities offerings dating back to 2019.
Coinbase is pushing for an early dismissal of the case on several grounds, with one of its arguments being that the SEC is charging the firm despite its business structure and planned activities being “exhaustively described” to the agency before the Coinbase public offering.
The SEC is getting torn to pieces in court and it’s not going to stop any time soon. https://t.co/jr1jinoc5D
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