The United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) cannot confirm or deny whether a video predominantly featuring Bill Hinman is actually Bill Hinman.
Bill Hinman, also known as William Hinman, is the former director of the SEC’s Division of Corporate Finance, and has become a key factor in the long-running legal dispute between the SEC and Ripple Labs. about alleged unregistered security offerings via XRP tokens.
In his speech at the 2018 Fintech Week Conference -while serving at the SEC- Hinman stated that the sale of Ether (ETH) did not constitute “securities transactions”.
But it seems the SEC is dragging its feet to admit the obvious in hopes of stopping the case.
According to a May 18 motion to bind Requests for Admission (RFAs) filed by Ripple Labs, Debevoise & Plimpton legal teamthe SEC “has failed to respond in accordance with applicable rules regarding 53 RFAs on material issues where there is no actual dispute”.
Ripple intends for the court to order RFAs to be admitted or for the SEC to provide amended responses. In relation to Hilman-focused RFAs, the SEC has been unable to confirm a number of cases that seem essentially undeniable.
For example, Despite the fact that Hinman was fully visible and audible during a taped interview at a public hearing, the SEC has refused to confirm or deny whether the recording is authentic, or whether the statements made by Hinman were really him..
The SEC will neither confirm nor deny that this is Bill Hinman. I hope this is all just a bad bad dream. Is this really the Securities and Exchange Commission of the United States of America? Is this what the SEC needs 2.5 billion dollars budget for? @RepTomEmmer pic.twitter.com/AfVTwBOIoU
— stefan huber.justice (@Leerzeit) May 19, 2022
The SEC neither confirms nor denies that it is Bill Hinman. I hope this is all a bad dream. Is this really the Securities and Exchange Commission of the United States of America? Does the SEC need a budget of USD 2.5 billion for this? @RepTomEmmer pic.twitter.com/AfVTwBOIoU
Notably the YouTube video referenced by Ripple’s legal team appears to have been uploaded by the interviewer, Chris Brummer, who is a Georgetown law professor. The account dating back to 2016 carries his name, profile picture and links to all of his affiliate websites professionally.
Nonetheless, SEC Says All Is Lost As To Mystery Man’s Identity.
“Subject to all of the foregoing objections, and after reasonable investigation, the information currently known and available is not sufficient to permit the Commission to grant or deny this application.”
The SEC has also denied the request that it cannot challenge the authenticity of the video, and appears determined not to release any information on the matter..
Late last month, after a request to shield documents related to Hinman was denied, he also filed a motion by letter asserting that he had attorney-client privilege regarding internal details about Hinman’s 2018 speech.
Many viewers have argued that the Hinman’s comments could be one of the deciding factors working against the SEC’s argument that the XRP token should be considered a security.. It has also recently been suggested that Hinman may have had a conflict of interest while working at the SEC, which could also affect the outcome of the case.
On May 11, Corruption watchdog Empower Oversight claimed to have documents obtained under a freedom of information request that showed Hinman had an undisclosed “direct financial interest” in the Simpson Thacher & Bartlett law firm, which is a member of the Enterprise Ethereum Alliance (EEA).
commentators like John Deaton, founder of legal news outlet Crypto Law, told his 198,000 Twitter followers that “if Hinman didn’t conflict-screen the speech it’s game, set, and match.”.
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