The Tron Foundation has requested a New York federal judge dismiss, what it called a “fatally flawed” class-action lawsuit that alleged securities violations through the China-based blockchain platform’s 2017 initial coin offering [ICO].
Tron’s ICO was conducted from the 24th of August to the 2nd of September, 2017. The foundation had reportedly secured $70 million from its native TRX token.
On April 3 when the lawsuit was filed, 10 other lawsuits were also filed in the New York Southern District Court against issuers and cryptocurrency exchanges. All of them alleged there was a distribution of unregistered securities.
Three years later, in April 2020 multiple lawsuits were filed against the issuers and cryptocurrency exchanges. In a particular lawsuit, the plaintiffs’ Alexander Clifford and Chase William brought a class action against Tron Foundation, its Co-founder and CEO Justin Sun, and Zhiqiang [Lucien] Chen. This stated, that the defendants in question allegedly promoted, offered, and sold TRON’s securities, ‘TRX’ tokens, throughout the United States, in violation of federal and state securities laws.
“Although TRON described the TRX tokens as something other than securities, they were securities. This was not clear to a reasonable investor at purchase, however, and would not have been reasonably apparent until, at the earliest, April 3, 2019, when the SEC released a detailed “Framework” to analyze digital assets, indicating that TRX and other similar digital tokens are “investment contracts” and therefore securities under Section 2 of the Securities Act of 1933.”
According to the latest motion filed by the foundation, it claimed that the case does not have any connection to New York while stressing that the lead plaintiffs, Colin Hardin, David Muhammad, and Chase Williams did not even engage in Tron’s ICO. Furthermore, the motion also pointed out that the suit was filed by the three plaintiffs nearly two years after the completion of the offering.
Tron’s motion asserted that three of the plaintiffs purchased their TRX tokens via Binance, which happens to be a secondary exchange to the offerings. Hence, it contended that the foundation should be dismissed since the underlying law does not cover deals done through secondary exchanges.
The latest motion filed by the defendants also argued that it does not have any control over plaintiffs’ decision to purchase TRX.
While rubbishing claims of being misleading and deceptive, Tron also stated,
“This claim was not even pleaded in the original complaint, and it is nothing but a litigation afterthought”