Shortly after the country’s Telegram ban was lifted, Russian authorities began investigating possibly fraudulent offers related to the company’s unlaunched token, Gram. At one point, the token was intended to serve a new ecosystem of blockchain technology known as Telegram Open Network, or TON.
Russian prosecutors are reportedly investigating a British company that allegedly sold fraudulent tokens related to Telegram’s now-completed blockchain project. The news was reported on 3 July by the local news agency, Baza.io.
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According to the report, the share was presented to a local investigation committee by „several Russian businessmen“ who claimed to have bought $11.7 million in Gram tokens.
Telegram CEO Pavel Durov officially announced the closing of the TON project on May 12. At that time, Russian investors allegedly tried to terminate their contract with the British company. The unnamed British firm, which allegedly has Russian roots, reportedly lost $1.5 million in commissions after returning only $10.2 million to investors, according to Baza.
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This news comes shortly after Telegram apparently settled its long-running legal battle with U.S. authorities over the company’s initial $1.7 billion coin offer, or ICO. The ICO involved approximately $400 million in investments from U.S. citizens.
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On June 26, the final judgment of the U.S. court required Telegram to return $1.2 billion to investors. The courier platform is said to have already returned that amount, and some U.S. investors confirmed that they received a 72% refund. This amount is consistent with the company’s original refund plan.
News from Russia
Russia’s interest in the token Gram is based on some significant regulatory changes. After two years of unsuccessful efforts to block Bitcoin Method in the country, Russian authorities suddenly decided to lift the ban on June 18. The decision came just weeks before Russia held a seven-day constitutional vote, the results of which could allow President Vladimir Putin to extend his 20-year term to 2036.