Marc P. Berger, who was appointed deputy director of the division of Enforcement at the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) in August 2020, is leaving the agency before the end of the month, according to an SEC press release. He was appointed acting director of the department after Stephanie Avakian left the SEC in December.
Although Berger’s time in the top position was short, it contains at least one major Highlight: the SEC’s $ 1.3 billion lawsuit against Ripple Labs, CEO Brad Garlinghouse and executive Chairman Chris Larsen.
The lawsuit, which was revealed at the end of Avakian’s tenure, alleges that Ripple failed to properly register the sale of XRP, the third largest cryptocurrency by market capitalization.
The SEC considers XRP to be a security — a tradable capital contract that raises funds for a company or organization.
Ripple was invented by Ripple founders Larsen, Arthur Britto, and Jed McCaleb, as well as current Ripple CTO David Schwartz. It is supposed to be a cryptocurrency that allows banks to transfer money more efficiently.
But according to the SEC, Larsen and Garlinghouse sold XRP only to get rich. The SEC also alleges that Ripple paid companies to use XRP and thus support the price.
The lawsuit, filed in a New York Federal Court on December 22, sent the XRP price down. On December 21, XRP traded for $ 0.55, it dropped below 0.20 USD, but now XRP price is stabilizing and acting normal. USD and trading has been stopped by several exchanges such as Coinbase.
Telegram was also affected by Marc P. Berger. SEC forced the Messaging Software company to return $ 1.2 billion to those who invested in their fund raising campaign . The digital “Gram” tokens never came on the market.
In addition to the ICO-related enforcement actions, Berger also played a role in enforcing securities laws and protecting investors, including by taking action against prominent companies such as Robinhood Financial LLC, Deutsche Bank AG and Luckin Coffee.
Things are changing at the SEC as the administration moves from a Trump presidency to a Biden Administration on January 20.
President-elect Joe Biden is expected to appoint former Commodities and Futures Trading Commission Chairman Gary Gensler as the new SEC Chairman; Jay Clayton resigned in December 2020. The SEC has not yet appointed a new director of law enforcement.
Whether a new director can or will change the Situation for Ripple is impossible to predict. It remains to be seen how the negotiations will develop on February 2021.