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Telegram fined $18.5 million by the SEC and must return $1.2 billion raised in an ICO

%3Cdiv%3E%0A%3Cp%3EOn%20Friday%2C%20a%20judge%20approved%20a%20ruling%20in%20favor%20of%20the%20Securities%20and%20Exchange%20Commission%20for%20a%20settlement%20with%20Telegram%20Group%20Inc.%20and%20subsidiary%20TON%20Issuer%20Inc%2C%20both%20British%20Virgin%20Islands-based%20entities.%20The%20judgement%20resolves%20a%20longstanding%20dispute%20between%20the%20SEC%20and%20crpytocurrency-based%20firm%20Telegram%20after%20the%20regulator%2C%20back%20in%20October%2C%20barred%20telegram%27s%20ICO%2C%20or%20initial%20coin%20offering%2C%20which%20it%20viewed%20as%20unregistered%20securities%20and%20therefore%20disallowed%20by%20the%20regulatory%20body.%20ICOs%20were%20a%20popular%20form%20of%20capital%20raises%20by%20the%20cryptocoin%20and%20blockchain%20community%20during%20the%20height%20of%20the%20fervor%20around%20bitcoin%20%3Ca%20data-charting-symbol%3D%22CRYPTOCURRENCY%2FUS%2FCOINDESK%2FBTCUSD%22%20data-track-hover%3D%22QuotePeek%22%20href%3D%22https%3A%2F%2Fwww.marketwatch.com%2Finvesting%2Fcryptocurrency%2FBTCUSD%3Fmod%3DMW_story_quote%22%3EBTCUSD%2C%20-0.24%25%3C%2Fa%3E%20%3Ca%20data-charting-symbol%3D%22FUTURE%2FUS%2FXCME%2FBTC.1%22%20data-track-hover%3D%22QuotePeek%22%20href%3D%22https%3A%2F%2Fwww.marketwatch.com%2Finvesting%2Ffuture%2FBTC.1%3Fmod%3DMW_story_quote%22%3EBTC.1%2C%20-2.10%25%3C%2Fa%3E%20back%20in%202017.%20However%2C%20the%20SEC%20feared%20that%20such%20investments%20were%20dangerous%20to%20mom-and-pop%20investors%20because%20they%20appeared%20to%20circumvent%20traditional%20rules%20and%20methods%20of%20raising%20money%20from%20the%20public.%20Telegram%27s%20ICO%20has%20agreed%20to%20pay%20back%20%241.2%20billion%20to%20investors%20as%20part%20of%20the%20civil%20penalty.%20U.S.%20District%20Judge%20P.%20Kevin%20Castel%2C%20who%20was%20overseeing%20the%20case%2C%20approved%20the%20settlement.%20The%20startup%2C%20founded%20by%20two%20Russian%20brothers%2C%20Pavel%20Durov%20and%20Nikolai%20Durov%2C%20had%20created%20a%20groundswell%20of%20enthusiasm%20over%20the%20mobile-messaging%20application.%20Funds%20from%20the%20ICO%20were%20intended%20to%20build%20out%20the%20Telegram%20Open%20Network%2C%20which%20touted%20some%20200%20million%20users%20back%20in%202018.%20Telegram%20has%20since%20said%20that%20it%20would%20cease%20work%20on%20the%20project.%20%26quot%3BSince%20we%20saw%20limited%20value%20in%20pursuing%20the%20court%20case%20further%2C%20we%20welcomed%20the%20opportunity%20to%20resolve%20it%20without%20admitting%20or%20denying%20our%20liability%2C%26quot%3B%20Telegram%20officials%20said%20in%20a%20statement.%3C%2Fp%3E%0A%3C%2Fdiv%3E

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