SEC Overstock ICO investigation since 2018 is still in the dark, says the company’s new interim CEO.
September 5, 2019 | AtoZ Markets – Jonathan Johnson, the newly appointed interim CEO of online retailer Overstock, has revealed in an interview with FOX Business that an investigation by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) into the company’s blockchain subsidiary tZERO’s token sale is “almost dormant.” He said:
‘We haven’t had requests for information [from the SEC] for almost a year.”
No clarity yet on SEC Overstock ICO investigation
The SEC launched a probe against tZERO’s token sale worth $250 million in February last year, to ascertain whether any of the federal securities laws have been violated. However, Johnson met with SEC officials in late June 2019 to put the investigation to bed or at least be clarified on its status.
Johnson told Fox Business:
“We have spent a king’s ransom to process [the SEC’s] requests for information to put this to bed.”
While a SEC representative declined to comment on this revelation, Johnson believes the status of the nearly 2-year ICO investigation is inactive, according to recent conversations with the regulator. However, Overstock’s General Counsel, E. Glen Nickle, recently said that the company will still comply with SEC, adding:
“tZERO, I think has unprecedented regular calls with the SEC meeting with them weekly. The SEC is committed to let us know what its focus is. That investigation I think is going well and we’ll continue to work to resolve it as quickly as possible.”
Meanwhile, Overstock’s business has suffered massively after the ICO investigation was first revealed in 2017. Following the probe reports, Overstock’s shares saw a sharp decline due to low trading volumes and limited infrastructure.
It is worthy of note that Johnson was appointed interim CEO of Bitcoin-friendly Overstock in August after the abrupt resignation of its longtime CEO and founder Patrick Byrne. His departure raised speculations that it was related to the SEC’s investigation into tZERO, which Byrne launched in 2018. This has resulted in the company losing a key investor in Makara Capital on August 26 after revealing its ambiguous investment plans back in August 2018.
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