According to documents submitted to the court, oligarch Roman Abramovich and former Russian Minister for Open government coordination Mikhail Abyzov participated in the second round of Telegram’s ICO.
During the second round of ICO, held in March 2018, Telegram sold $850 million worth of Gram tokens. According to a document provided by expert Stephen McKeon, Abramovich invested $10 million. Interestingly, Telegram itself hired McKeon to analyze the TON blockchain project.
To buy Gram tokens, Abramovich used his own offshore Fund, Norma Investments Limited, registered in the British virgin Islands. As for Abyzov, he participated in the ICO through the batios Holdings Limited Fund, of which he was a Director.
Perhaps the names of Abramovich and Abyzov were not chosen by chance – the Russian oligarch lives in the UK, and Abyzov was imprisoned in March 2019. He is accused of organizing a criminal community and fraud on a particularly large scale.
The document also mentions the Larnabel Ventures Fund, owned by the Gutseriev family. This Fund invested $15 million in Telegram. Earlier it was reported that Gram tokens were purchased by Qiwi founder Sergey Solonin and Wimm-Bill-Dann co-founder David Yakobashvili.
In addition to Russian oligarchs, foreign millionaires also participated in the telegram ICO. So, the operating Director of the German payment service Wirecard Jan Marsalek (Jan Marsalek) invested $7 million.
Recently, a us Federal judge decided to extend the ban on the distribution of Gram tokens. The us securities and exchange Commission (SEC) lawsuit against Telegram was filed in October last year. The SEC believes that Gram tokens are securities, but Telegram does not agree with this statement.