SEC Overstock Investigation ‘Almost Dormant’ Says CEO After Byrne Exit
Overstock is still in the dark about the investigation US regulators launched into tZERO back in 2018, says the company’s new interim CEO.
Johnson: No SEC Info Since 2018
Speaking to FOX Business in an interview reported on September 3, Jonathan Johnson said he was still waiting for information from the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).
We haven’t had requests for information for almost a year,
Johnson took over the reigns of Bitcoin-friendly Overstock in August after the abrupt departure of founder Patrick Byrne.
The SEC had signalled it would be eyeing Overstock in February 2018, after tZERO came into existence with the aim of creating a Blockchain stock exchange.
The company chose to make details of the investigation public, but nothing has come from the SEC since last December, says Johnson.
“[Johnson] described it as ‘dormant’,” a FOX interviewer recalled.
The acting chief said he then met with lawmakers in June, requesting an update on progress and more concrete demands which have not yet surfaced.
In the meantime, no formal legal action currently involves either Byrne or Johnson, with the latter adding to FOX that no one had received an official summons from the SEC relating to criminal charges – the so-called Wells Notice.
Bullish Overstock Unfazed
As Bitcoinist reported, Byrne’s exit came as a surprise for cryptocurrency users, as he had transformed Overstock into one of the world’s pioneers in crypto acceptance.
“Patrick Byrne has been an advocate for tZERO since our inception and we are sorry to see him step down from his roles at Overstock & affiliated companies,” tZERO wrote on its Twitter page two weeks ago.
“Patrick’s departure will have no impact on tZERO’s operations as we continue to focus on our planned roadmap.”
Johnson, as CEO of umbrella entity Medici Ventures, will continue in that capacity at the same time as taking on his new duties.
Overstock meanwhile is far from the only major corporation to come under fire from US regulators over crypto-related activities.
As Bitcoinist noted, Canada’s Kik is also embroiled in a debacle with authorities over the border due to its 2017 initial coin offering (ICO).
As court documents confirm, the SEC believes Kik sold unregistered securities by offering the tokens in the US, something its lawyers deny in an ever more tense legal battle.
In October, the regulator is set to decide whether or not to allow a new form of financial instrument to hit the market. A Bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF) has seen multiple rejections under various sponsors since March 2017.
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