Judge's gavel

US judge dismisses plaintiff’s ‘crypto tutorial’ offer in BitMEX action

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A district judge in California tasked with hearing a racketeering lawsuit against cryptocurrency exchange BitMEX has hit out at the plaintiffs in the case for offering up a lesson on “cryptocurrency basics.”

Judge William H. Orrick responded to a proposal document submitted by the plaintiffs by saying the offer was “not well taken,” urging them instead to “focus on the task at hand” of convincing him a legitimate case exists.

“Plaintiffs believe that cryptocurrency tutorial will benefit the court. I think not…[Plaintiffs should] focus on the task at hand — convincing me that they have stated a plausible claim.”

The plaintiffs in the case, Bitcoin Manipulation Abatement LLC, filed the suit against BitMEX shortly after filing lawsuits against Ripple and FTX. In the allegations, the plaintiffs allege that the former parent company of BitMEX, HDR Global Trading Limited, and several of its senior executives intentionally set up the exchange to “engage in, facilitate, aid, abet, counsel, induce and/or procure a myriad of illegal activities.”

According to the suit, BMA is alleging BitMEX has been implicated in racketeering, money laundering and wire fraud.

With the lawsuit currently before the court the fourth iteration of the action brought by BMA, BitMEX is robustly challenging the allegations, denying any involvement in the charges brought.

The U.S. Department of Justice (DoJ) has accused BitMEX and the executives of violating the Bank Secrecy Act, following complaints filed against the parties in October 2020. BitMEX executive Samuel Reed was then arrested, with other executives turning themselves in to the authorities before being released on bail.

Three executives, including Reed, are set to face trial in March 2022. Head of business development at BitMEX, Gregory Dwyer, is also wanted by the authorities but remains at large.

Follow CoinGeek’s Crypto Crime Cartel series, which delves into the stream of groups—from BitMEX to BinanceBitcoin.comBlockstreamShapeShiftCoinbaseRipple and
Ethereum—who have co-opted the digital asset revolution and turned the industry into a minefield for naïve (and even experienced) players in the market.

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