Tuesday, 20 August, 2019

New York AG accuses cryptocurrency exchange of fraud

Cryptocurrency exchange accused of covering up $850 million loss BitFinex To The 850M USD Loss Claim: Court Filings Were “Written In Bad Faith”
Russell Knight | 28 April, 2019, 08:53

The case is In the Matter of the Inquiry by Letitia James, Attorney General of the State of New York v. Ifinex Inc., 450545/2019, New York Supreme Court, County of New York (Manhattan).

Bitfinex said in response that the attorney general's court filings were "written in bad faith" and "riddled with false assertions".

This court order reportedly mainly stems from an investigation of iFinex, and the allegation that the company has used funds from Tether to "hide the apparent loss of $850 million of co-mingled client and corporate funds".

"New York state has led the way in requiring virtual currency businesses to operate according to the law", said James said in her statement Thursday.

James said that the Attorney-General's office had issued subpoenas to Bitfinex and Tether in November a year ago.

Furthermore, the statement claims that Bitfinex has sent $850 million worth of corporate and customer funds from Tether's reserve to the Panamanian cryptocurrency payment processor Crypto Capital in an effort to muddy the waters regarding this alleged loss. "On the contrary, we have been informed that these Crypto Capital amounts are not lost but have been, in fact, seized and safeguarded". "And both Bitfinex and Tether are committed to fighting this gross overreach by the New York Attorney General's office against companies that are good corporate citizens and strong supporters of law enforcement".

According to the announcement Bitfinex has published on its blog today, the NYAG's office released the order is obtained, without notice or hearing, "in an attempt to compel Bitfinex and Tether to provide certain documents and seeking certain injunctive relief". Apparently, Bitfinex used $700 million from Tether in order to cover up losses of $850 million.

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The lawsuit targets the Bitfinex exchange and affiliated company Tether.

After they gave $850 million to Crypto Capital Bitfinex was not able to retrieve the funds anymore.

Worryingly, the New York Attorney General's Office is also highlighting that if true, this means that neither the loss itself nor the transfer of funds was shared with customers. We are and have been actively working to exercise our rights and remedies and get those funds released. The website also added that "The New York attorney general's office should focus its efforts on trying to aid and support our recovery efforts". James alleged that the exchange's parent company, which also owns stablecoin Tether, has commingled business and customer funds to hide illegal behavior.

Charles Hayter, CEO of digital currency comparison firm CryptoCompare, said the NY fraud probe into tether was affecting the market.

The company added that both Bitfinex and Tether are "financially strong", and that it would challenge the order by NY.

The controversy surrounding the issuance of tether rose a notch higher following claims that the stablecoin did not have sufficient United States dollars reserves and a subsequent allegation that the Tether and Bitfinex could have manipulated bitcoin prices via surplus USDT tokens.

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