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SEC to Pay $1.8 Million in Fees Following Dismissal of Case Against Debt Box

The U.S. District Court for the District of Utah has dismissed the Securities and Exchange Commission’s (SEC) case against Digital Licensing, operating under the name Debt Box.

The judge has also ordered the SEC to pay approximately $1.8 million in attorney and receivership fees.

SEC Ordered to Pay $1.8 Million in Fees

In a post on X dated May 28, Debt Box confirmed the dismissal, stating, “The U.S. District Court for the District of Utah has officially dismissed the SEC’s case against us without prejudice. This means the case is closed, and any future action by the SEC would have to go through Judge Shelby.”

As outlined in a May 28 filing, Judge Shelby has ordered the SEC to pay approximately $1.8 million for attorney fees and costs and $750,000 for receiver fees and costs. This ruling coincided with the dismissal of the case without prejudice.

The decision stems from a March ruling in which the court found the SEC guilty of “bad faith conduct” regarding a temporary restraining order and freezing of Debt Box’s assets. This came after the SEC initiated legal proceedings against Debt Box in July 2023, alleging involvement in a $50 million illegal crypto scheme.

Debt Box countered the SEC’s claims by filing documents asserting inaccuracies in the commission’s information, leading to the threat of sanctions. The sanctions against the agency required it to cover “all attorney fees and costs arising from the improvidently entered ex parte relief.”

However, the regulator tried to evade penalties by contesting the accusation of acting in bad faith. In January, the SEC attempted to terminate the case, asserting that penalties were unwarranted. In a previous ruling, Judge Shelby determined that the SEC’s legal representatives purposefully presented inaccurate information, fully aware that they couldn’t obtain the restraining order and asset freeze otherwise.

Regulatory Overreach

This case started discussions within the cryptocurrency community, with many viewing it as an example of regulatory overreach. The SEC has ongoing legal battles with several crypto firms, including Binance, Kraken, Ripple, and Coinbase.

Amidst these developments, several lawmakers in the U.S. Congress have advocated for regulatory clarity concerning digital assets and pushed for legislative measures.

Debt Box’s team celebrated the court’s decision, referring to it as a “monumental victory” for their company, the entire industry, and their community. They emphasized the importance of integrity and fairness in regulatory practices.

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