Bitfinex and Tether CTO Paolo Ardoino to be Deposed Amid Ongoing Class-Action Lawsuit

In a significant development in the long-standing class-action lawsuit against Bitfinex and Tether, the Chief Technology Officer (CTO) of the cryptocurrency firms, Paolo Ardoino, is set to be deposed this week, according to a recent order issued by a New York judge. The lawsuit, originally filed in 2019, has been a source of controversy and intrigue within the crypto community, with allegations of financial misconduct, market manipulation, and significant damages to the crypto market.

Bitfinex and Tether had requested a delay for Ardoino’s deposition, pushing it to early October. Their counsel argued that a prolonged negotiation process over the topics to be covered during the deposition had left them with insufficient time to adequately prepare. They stated, “Defendants simply want to ensure that Mr. Ardoino is adequately prepared,” emphasizing that “the deposition topics were not clarified until September 7—only three business days before” the scheduled testimony.

Tether CTO Paolo Ardoino

Ardoino’s deposition, which is slated for Wednesday, marks the latest development in this protracted legal battle. The lawsuit was originally initiated by Jason Leibowitz, co-founder, and CEO of LeboBTC, on behalf of the plaintiff class in 2019. The core claim of the lawsuit is that Bitfinex and Tether have caused damages exceeding $1.4 trillion to the cryptocurrency market, accusing them of financial misconduct, including bank fraud and money laundering, along with their associated executives and entities such as Crypto Capital.

Tether, in response to the allegations, has consistently denied any wrongdoing, including market manipulation. The stablecoin issuer issued a written statement in 2019, which was referenced in the lawsuit’s complaint, asserting its innocence. Regulators in the United States have previously scrutinized Tether’s reserves. In 2021, Tether and Bitfinex’s parent company, iFinex, settled a two-year-old investigation brought by the New York State Attorney General regarding Tether’s reserves, resulting in restrictions on their operations in New York.

The recent order from Southern District of New York Judge Katherine Polk Failla has instructed that Ardoino’s deposition must cover topics that are agreed upon and considered undisputed. Additionally, it highlighted the court’s concerns about the pace of the lawsuit, suggesting that the legal proceedings have been more protracted than anticipated.

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