SEC Director Enforcing Lawsuit Against Ripple’s XRP Resigns

Marc Berger, who served as acting Director of the Division of Enforcement at the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) for a short time, will conclude his tenor by the end of this month.

Berger, who replaced Stephanie Avakian as an acting director of the Division after she departed from the SEC in December, will be stepping down. Mr. Berger joined the Commission as Director of the New York Regional Office in Dec 2017 before being named Deputy Director of the Division of Enforcement in August 2020.

Before joining the SEC, he was the Global Co-Head of Ropes & Gray LLP’s Securities and Enforcement Practice. Even though Berger’s time in the top position was not long, it holds up at least one key highlight. Berger played a vital role in the ongoing lawsuit against Ripple Labs brought upon by the SEC.

The fintech firm was charged with conducting unregistered initial coin offerings via XRP. The Commission alleges that XRP should be registered as a security and, therefore, that the $1.3 billion raised through the token violates federal securities laws.  

Impactful Traits

Acting Chairman Elad L. Roisman said Marc had been an exceptional leader at the Commission, consistently bringing integrity and excellent judgment. His vast experience from his many years as a federal prosecutor has positively impacted matters under his leadership. 

Marc had always maintained a particular focus on aggressively pursuing bad actors and finding the best outcome for harmed investors and the greater investing public. He leaves a significant mark throughout the Commission not only for his tremendous efforts to advance the SEC’s mission but also for his enthusiasm for each person he has worked beside each day of his tenure.

Who will Lead the SEC Lawsuit against Ripple XRP?

The battle between the SEC and Ripple is likely to be fierce. Ripple intends to fight the legal action at all costs. The commission needs a strong leader to manage the Lawsuit against Ripple XRP. However, it has not named a new acting head of enforcement in announcing Berger’s departure.

The developments come at the SEC’s top as the agency prepares for a new administration under President-elect Joe Biden. The former SEC Chairman Jay Clayton also stepped down from his post in December. Biden could appoint a commissioner whose outlooks are more aligned with his plan and the agency’s two Democratic commissioners.

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Experts say while the agency will maintain its focus on protecting Main Street investors, it will likely scale up enforcement actions against major financial institutions, insider trading investigations, and, potentially, hand out higher fines.

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