More than three months after the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) launched an action against three individuals involved in Long Blockchain insider trading, the regulator has yet to complete service on all defendants. This becomes clear from a status report submitted by the SEC on October 18, 2021.

Let’s recall that the SEC charged three individuals with insider trading in advance of an announcement by Long Blockchain Company (formerly known as Long Island Iced Tea Co.) that it was going to “pivot” from its existing beverage business to blockchain technology, which caused the company’s stock price to soar.

According to the SEC’s complaint, Eric Watson, an undisclosed control person of Long Blockchain who helped drive this business change within the company and signed a confidentiality agreement not to disclose the company’s business plans, tipped his friend and broker, Oliver Barret-Lindsay, of such plans, including by sharing with him a draft of the company’s press release.

Barret-Lindsay, in turn, allegedly passed the material nonpublic information on to his friend, Gannon Giguiere. Within hours of receiving this confidential information, Giguiere purchased 35,000 shares of Long Blockchain stock.

According to the complaint, the company’s stock price skyrocketed after the press release was issued, spiking more than 380% intraday. Within two hours of the announcement, Giguiere sold his shares for over $160,000 in illicit profits.

The SEC’s complaint charges Watson, Barret-Lindsay, and Giguiere with violating Section 10(b) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 and Rule 10b-5 thereunder, and seeks permanent injunctions and civil penalties as to all defendants, and, additionally, an officer and director bar as to Watson.

The latest status report states that the Commission has served two of the three Defendants, Giguiere and Lindsay, but is still in the process of effecting service under the Hague Convention on Watson, a New Zealand native who is apparently residing in Spain. The Commission began that process on September 9, 2021 by sending its request to Spain’s Central Authority, after it learned of Watson’s whereabouts.

“We understand that that process can take two to four months (at least pre-pandemic),” the SEC explains.

The lawsuit continues at the New York Southern District Court.