Ripple board member gets unusual pardon on Trump’s historic last day

Brad Garlinghouse

Ripple board member Ken Kurson just got a pardon from the outgoing Trump administration, but it’s probably not what you think.

Unrelated to Ripple’s problems with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, in which the entity has been accused of selling unregistered securities, Kurson’s pardon involves charges brought last year of cyber stalking and harassment related to the former journalist’s divorce.

Kirsten, who serves on the board at Ripple and also runs a news site called Modern Consensus, was arrested in October of last year on the cyber stalking charges.

He then worked for the New York Observer, which was owned by Jared Kushner. Photos of Kushner and Kurson together abound on the Internet. In 2018, Kurson was nominated for a place on the National Endowment for the Humanities.

A recent White House release shows how Kurson, erstwhile AIPAC consultant to the presidency, has gained clemency for his personal imbroglio. In full:

“President Trump granted a full pardon to Kenneth Kurson. Prosecutors have charged Mr. Kurson with cyberstalking related to his divorce from his ex-wife in 2015. In a powerful letter to the prosecutors, Mr. Kurson’s ex-wife wrote on his behalf that she never wanted this investigation or arrest and, “repeatedly asked for the FBI to drop it… I hired a lawyer to protect me from being forced into yet another round of questioning. My disgust with this arrest and the subsequent articles is bottomless…” This investigation only began because Mr. Kurson was nominated to a role within the Trump Administration. He has been a community leader in New York and New Jersey for decades. In addition, Mr. Kurson is a certified foster parent, a successful business owner, and is passionate about various charitable causes. Mr. Kurson is an upstanding citizen and father to five beautiful children.”

As for Ripple, a December press release details the SEC’s complaint against the crypto firm and two executives:

“The complaint alleges that Ripple raised funds, beginning in 2013, through the sale of digital assets known as XRP in an unregistered securities offering to investors in the U.S. and worldwide. Ripple also allegedly distributed billions of XRP in exchange for non-cash consideration, such as labor and market-making services. According to the complaint, in addition to structuring and promoting the XRP sales used to finance the company’s business, Larsen and Garlinghouse also effected personal unregistered sales of XRP totaling approximately $600 million. The complaint alleges that the defendants failed to register their offers and sales of XRP or satisfy any exemption from registration, in violation of the registration provisions of the federal securities laws.”

The fallout has brought Ripple and its XRP token low, with the front-running cryptocurrency ceding ground to others like Litecoin and Polkadot for the first time. Keep an eye on this case, because Kurson’s pardon doesn’t affect it at all.