At the end of February, TON investors of the Da Vinci Capital fund sent a letter to the founder of Telegram Pavel Durov and other top managers of the company, claiming that they intend to take legal action against TON Inc. and Telegram Inc.
A letter before claim is a letter written by lawyers that the plaintiff sends before filing an official lawsuit in court, thus giving a second party a final warning.
According to Forbes, Da Vinci Capital required Pavel Durov to reimburse about $100 million invested in the TON blockchain project. A source close to the messenger confirmed the receipt of such a letter, but said the company was asked only to return about $20 million, the difference between the invested amount of money and 72% already returned to Da Vinci Capital after the closure of TON.
After receiving the letter, Telegram has two weeks to respond to the letter and thereby settle the issue outside of the court. Disruptive Era Fund became the only TON investor that decided to reimburse the remaining amount through the court after receiving 72%.
Disruptive Era Fund was one of the largest TON investors. The fund agreed with Telegram to purchase tokens for $72.1 million and transferred $45.4 million to the company's accounts in 2018.
The first rumors about the launch of the TON blockchain project appeared in 2018. To develop the project, Telegram raised $1.7 billion in investments.
TON was closed after the claims of the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), which considered that investors were offered unregistered securities. In October 2019, the SEC filed a lawsuit demanding the suspension of ICOs for the development of TON. The agency won the case, and the Gram cryptocurrency was recognized as unregistered securities. Durov announced the closure of the TON blockchain platform project in May 2020.
Under the concluded out-of-court agreement, Telegram was ordered to pay a fine of $18.5 million and return $1.2 billion to investors. In April, Telegram offered American investors to either get 72% of their investments back, or leave the money as a loan and then get 110 % in a year.
Until April 30, Telegram will have to pay off the investors of the TON blockchain project, who agreed to convert their investments into a loan and receive 110% of the invested amount in the spring of 2021 instead of receiving 72%.
To pay off the investors, Pavel Durov held negotiations with banks and investors to raise a loan of about a billion dollars for Telegram. Raising financing in the form of debt will allow Pavel Durov to retain full control over Telegram, settle accounts with TON investors, and strengthen the messenger's infrastructure before the start of monetization, announced at the end of 2020.