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Judge Dismisses Debt Box Case, Orders SEC to Pay $1.8 Million in Fees

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On May 28, the commission’s 2023 civil lawsuit came to an end, with a judge directing the SEC to pay receivership and legal costs.

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The United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is required by a federal judge to pay approximately $1.8 million in attorney and receivership fees pertaining to the regulator’s civil lawsuit against Digital Licensing, the company that operates under the name Debt Box.

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Judge Robert Shelby approved an order on May 28 in the U.S. District Court for the District of Utah, mandating the SEC to pay approximately $1 million in attorney fees and costs and $750,000 in receiver fees and costs. The order and the dismissal of the case without prejudice were issued on the same day.

Regarding a temporary restraining order to freeze Debt Box’s assets, the judge referenced a March decision in which the court determined that the SEC had “engaged in bad faith conduct.” Sanctions were threatened after the firm submitted court documents arguing that the commission’s data was erroneous.

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The commission was ordered to pay “all attorney fees and costs arising from the improvidently entered ex parte relief” as part of the sanctions against the SEC. With the exception of one $649 charge, Judge Shelby effectively decided that all costs sought by the defendants in the case were “appropriate.”

“This is a big victory for us,” Debt Box wrote on May 28 on X. It implies that the SEC is unable to pursue the case in its current form.

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In July 2023, the SEC filed a lawsuit against Debt Box, alleging that the company ran an illicit $50 million cryptocurrency scheme. Many in the cryptocurrency community have pointed to the company’s presentation of documents indicating that the commission had attempted to obtain a temporary restraining order against the company by making false statements and misrepresenting facts. This has been cited as an example of regulatory overreach.

The commission is currently suing a number of cryptocurrency companies, including Coinbase, Ripple, Kraken, and Binance. Through laws like the Financial Innovation and Technology for the 21st Century Act, numerous members of the US Congress have been advocating for the SEC to provide more regulatory clarity regarding digital assets.CRYPTOCASTER® - DECENTRALIZED FREEDOM!


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