The US SEC has moved to file its first amended complaint against Ripple and its associates named in the first lawsuit. In the amended claim, the SEC added more details about the defendants, claiming that they directly colluded to facilitate Ripple's settlements on the illegal XRP sales. The regulatory commission describes several cases in which Ripple's top executives interfered with the market value of XRP.
SEC: XRP market manipulated by Ripple
According to the SEC, Ripple's CFO contacted Larsen and Garlinghouse in April 2016 and planned to discuss the "Downward Pressure on XRP Price." In the emails, the CFO allegedly also suggested that the cryptocurrency company should adjust the company's sell target a bit for a few days, in an effort to help stabilize or increase the price of XRP.
The SEC document goes on to state that, in response to the email, Larsen's response was “Yes, let's adjust,” while Garlinghouse expressed support for the adjustment, but was also "Slightly inclined to be more aggressive when we do this."
The lawsuit also delves into Garlinghouse's efforts to make XRP cryptocurrency available on exchanges within the United States and abroad. His plan included an incentive program that would include minimum monthly guarantees for merchants and buyers.
According to the SEC, Garlinghouse also sent an email to an unnamed cryptocurrency trading company, in which he expressed frustration at exchanges reluctance to list XRP cryptocurrency due to uncertainty about whether it could be classified as a security. Garlinghouse was concerned that such reluctance could "hurt" Ripple.
XRP Personal Sales
In the amended complaint, the SEC also mentioned that Larsen and Garlinghouse made a portion of their personal XRP sales in the United States, which could allow the defendants to present a jurisdictional argument during their trial. Between April 2017 and October 2019, Garlinghouse reportedly sold XRP worth $ 159 million, while Chris Larsen made more than $ 450 million from XRP sales between 2015 and May 2020.
Recently, Ripple revealed that efforts to reach an out-of-court settlement with the SEC had failed. The case between the SEC and Ripple is currently in the discovery stage and is expected to continue, unless the Biden administration takes a lenient course of action compared to the previous Trump administration. So far, some of Biden's appointees are known to be fond of cryptocurrencies.