SEC “Deeply Regrets” Handling of Debt Box Case, New Court Filing Reveals

Julia Smith
Last updated: | 2 min read

The United States Securities and Exchange Commision (SEC) has apologized for its handling of a lawsuit against decentralized blockchain project, Debt Box, according to new court documents.

Walking it back


“The Commission takes this Court’s concerns seriously and deeply regrets these errors,” a court filing from December 21st reads. “Agency officials are taking steps to ensure those errors are not repeated in this action or other proceedings.”

The SEC originally filed a lawsuit against Debt Box in July alleging the digital currency operation defrauded thousands of investors out of nearly $50 million through the sale of unregistered securities.

“False or misleading” statements made by the SEC


Previously, the federal watchdog was granted a temporary restraining order against Debt Box after claiming the organization was dodging legal actions by moving assets abroad. However, the order was rescinded in October after the court found the SEC had insufficient evidence to back up its claims. 

Judge Robert Shelby, Chief United States district judge for the District of Utah, criticized lawyers representing the SEC earlier this year for “false or misleading” statements against Debt Box, claiming that they “undermined the integrity of the case’s proceedings” which resulted in “irreparable harm” to the defendant.

Moreover, Shelby hinted at the possibility of sanctioning the SEC for its misconduct, a factor the federal agency argues against in the latest court filing.

“As explained, the Commission takes very seriously the concerns identified by the Court,” the SEC’s lawyers stated. “In response to the Court’s order to show cause, the Commission has identified errors and lapses in judgment that it will take steps to remedy. But sanctions are not warranted under the circumstances here.”

Falling short of expectations


News of the SEC’s apology follows shortly after Ripple Chief Technology Officer, David Schwartz, called out the SEC’s handling of the case.

​​”I’ve just read over the documents in the Debt Box case and this is absolutely shocking behavior,” Schwartz posted on X. “The SEC went to a judge seeking an emergency order to paralyze several businesses and blatantly misrepresented facts to get it before anyone on the other side could defend themselves.”

“The Commission cannot let its zeal to stop ongoing fraud interfere with its duty to be accurate and candid,” the SEC stated in its most recent court filing. “The Commission and its attorneys fell short of that expectation here.”

Consequently, the SEC has hired different attorneys to handle the case and will provide “mandatory training” for its staff “on the duty of accuracy and candor and the duty to correct any inaccuracies as soon as they come to light.”