Ripple Executives Push Back Against Subpoenas for Personal Finance Records

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In Brief
  • SEC seeking personal financial information of Ripple executives Christian Larsen, and Brad Garlinghouse.

  • The pair requested the subpoenas be blocked, calling it “wholly inappropriate overreach”.

  • The SEC formally indicted the two men as well as Ripple Labs in December.

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The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is seeking the personal financial information of Ripple co-founder Christian Larsen, and CEO Brad Garlinghouse.



Former-CEO Larsen, as well as current Ripple CEO Garlinghouse asked a judge to block the subpoenas on March 10.

The SEC sent subpoenas to six banks, requesting eight years’ worth of information. The pair said the request is a “wholly inappropriate overreach”, as the case does not involve the fraud it’s alleging.



SEC Gets Nosey

Based on that, Larsen and Garlinghouse say there are no instances in which they intermingled their finances with Ripple. They claim that the regulators want to know everything from the proceeds of unrelated business transactions to “how much money they spend at the grocery store every week.”

The pair said they already agreed to produce records related to XRP transactions, in addition to other compensation information from Ripple. However, the SEC “made clear” to them, that it wouldn’t be enough.

“The SEC has not offered and cannot provide a coherent explanation  for why it is entitled to this information,” the letter sent to court read.

XRP Under Fire

The SEC formally indicted the pair in December, along with Ripple Labs Inc. The SEC accused Ripple of raising over $1.3 billion in funds through the sale of unregistered securities.

The regulators claim that XRP is a security, making the unregistered sales illegal. The indictment also targets the executives because it alleges they “effected personal unregistered sales of XRP totaling approximately $600 million.” 

In January, Ripple Labs rebuffed the claim. The rebuttal explained why XRP isn’t a security. It cited how XRP functions the same as its other cryptocurrencies in terms of pricing. Additionally, they claim that its status had already been acknowledged by a governmental agency. In 2015, the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) recognized XRP as a digital currency and cleared the way for sales. 

The XRP price dove last year when the lawsuit was announced, with many exchanges shedding the asset from their offerings. Despite this, its market cap has almost doubled since the beginning of the year, according to CoinGecko. 


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Nick is a data scientist who teaches economics and communication in Budapest, Hungary, where he received a BA in Political Science and Economics and an MSc in Business Analytics from CEU. He has been writing about cryptocurrency and blockchain technology since 2018, and is intrigued by its potential economic and political usage. He can best be described as an optimistic center-left skeptic.

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