The US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) can neither confirm nor deny whether a video that mainly shows Bill Hinman shows Bill Hinman.
Bill Hinman, also known as William Hinman, is the former head of the SEC Department of Finance, and has been a key figure in a long-running legal dispute between the SEC vs. Ripple Labs over alleged unlisted securities auctions through XRP tokens.
Speaking at the 2018 Fintech Week conference – while working for the SEC – Hinman said Hinman’s sale of Ether (ETH) did not involve “securities trading”.
But it seems that the SEC is slowing down to admit the obvious in hopes of slowing things down.
Following a May 18 proposal to enforce access requests (RFAs) submitted by Ripple Labs’ law firm, Debevoise & Plimpton, the SEC has “failed to respond in accordance with the current rules of 53 RFA on important matters where no real disagreement. ”
Ripple requests that the court order that the RFA be either admitted or that the SEC provide amended answers. In the context of the RFA focusing on Hilman, the SEC has not been able to confirm a series of cases that appear to be in fact indisputable.
For example, despite Hinman being quite visible and audible in a recorded interview at a public event, the SEC has refused to confirm or deny whether the recording was genuine, or whether Hinman’s statements were his.
The SEC will neither confirm nor deny that this is Bill Hinman. I hope this is just a bad dream. Is this really US Securities and Exchange Commission? Is this what the SEC needs a $ 2.5 billion budget for? @RepTomEmmer image.twitter.com/AfVTwBOIoU
– stefan huber.justice (@Leerzeit) May 19, 2022
Interestingly, the YouTube video that Ripple’s legal team refers to appears to have been uploaded by the interviewee, Chris Brummer, who is a law professor in Georgetown. The account from 2016, bears his name, profile picture links to all his professionally related websites.
Despite this, the SEC claims to be at sea regarding the identity of the mystery man.
“Without prejudice to any of the above objections, and after a reasonable examination, the information known and available at this time will not be sufficient to enable the Commission to acknowledge or reject this request.
The SEC has also rejected a request that it not challenge the video’s authenticity and does not appear to be providing any information on the case.
Late last month, after rejecting a request to defend Hinman-related documents, it also submitted a letter claiming that it had legal-client rights regarding internal information about Hinman’s speech in 2018.
Many viewers have argued that Hinman’s comments could be one of the decisive factors in defeating the SEC’s argument that the XRP symbol should be considered a security. It has also recently been suggested that Hinman may have had a conflict of interest while working for the SEC, which could also affect the outcome of the case.
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On May 11, the corruption watchdog Empower Oversight said it had documents obtained under the Freedom of Information Request that indicated Hinman had unspecified “direct financial interests” at Simpson Thacher & Bartlett Law Firm, a member of the Enterprise Ethereum Alliance (EEA). ).
Commentators such as John Deaton, founder of the legal news agency Crypto Law, told his 198,000 Twitter followers that “if Hinman did not deliver the speech before the conflict, then the game and the match would be over.
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