Newly released documents on Telegram’s 2018 ICO have revealed some notable supporters, including Russian oil magnate Roman Abramovich and former Minister of Open Government Affairs Mikhail Abyzov.
The release of the documents highlighting some of the big backers in Telegram’s proposed blockchain, Telegram Open Network (TON), is just the latest development in the SEC’s case against the company that claims the messaging app violates securities laws by it failed to register its token sale in 2018. The names and the amount invested were listed in an expert report by Stephen McKeon, a University of Oregon professor hired by Telegram to write an analysis of the blockchain project.
Russian oil billionaire Roman Abramovich, best known as the owner of the Premier League team Chelsea FC, invested $ 10 million in Telegram in the second round of donations. He made the investment through a British Virgin Islands based fund called Norma Investments Limited.
Another British Virgin Islands-based fund, Batios Holdings Limited, of which Mikhail Abyzov is a director, also invested in the Telegram ICO. Abyzov is currently incarcerated after Russian law enforcement opened an embezzlement case against him in 2018 after his position at Batios was exposed, ending his political career. Jan Marsalek, Chief Operating Officer of the German payment company Wirecard, also invested $ 7 million in the second round of the TON token sale.
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Telegram met with the SEC in court on February 19 after months of back-and-forth between the two parties. At that meeting, the presiding judge urged both parties to “Economic Realities” of the $ 1.7 billion token sale and promised to make a decision on the case by April 30 – the deadline agreed by investors back in October for the introduction of TON. Until then, Telegram is free to develop TON further.
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