The popular digital currency trading platform, Bitfinex must deal with the New York Office of the Attorney General (NYAG) over the alleged hiding of over $800 million in client and corporate funds. The NY state Supreme Court’s Appellate Division overruled an appeal on Thursday, after the company put forth the argument that tether (USDT) was not a security or traditional commodity.
Last year in April, New York prosecutors alleged that Bitfinex lost $850 million of co-mingled customer and corporate funds. The charges stemmed from accusations coming from the NYAG and New York Attorney General Letitia James.
Recently the case was heard by the NY State Supreme Court’s Appellate Division, and the company attempted to claim that tether (USDT) was not a type of commodity or security. Basically, if tether wasn’t a commodity or security, then the court and the NYAG would have zero jurisdiction over the companies involved.
Additionally, Bitfinex attempted to argue that because the company was not a U.S.-based firm, NY jurisdiction would also not apply. Essentially, when news.Bitcoin.com reported on the subject in May 2019, the NYAG demanded that Bitfinex must show transparency by turning over documents tied to the firm Tether.
With the jurisdiction arguments used in the appeals court, Bitfinex claimed that the NY officials had no authority over documents. However, since the appeals court rejected the claims that argued against jurisdiction, Bitfinex must now answer to the allegations stemming from New York State.
“The trial court properly rejected the attempts by respondents to limit petitioner’s lawful authority to protect New York residents,” the latest ruling notes.
In an email to the financial columnist, Jaspreet Kalra, Bitfinex’s General Counsel Stuart Hoegner said: “We will respect the court’s order. We have no further comment on this matter at this time.”
New York Attorney General Letitia James was thrilled with the decision against Bitfinex. “Today’s decision validates our office’s ability to use its broad and comprehensive investigative powers to protect New Yorkers,” James told the press this week.
“Not even virtual currencies are above the law. We are pleased with the court’s decision, and will continue to protect the interest of investors in the marketplace,” she added. Bitfinex, the parent company Ifinex, and Tether Limited are also involved in another ongoing lawsuit as well.
What do you think about Bitfinex having to face allegations for the loss of over $800 million? Let us know what you think about this subject in the comments section below.