The lawsuit alleging Tether and Bitfinex Manipulated Bitcoin Market be Refiled and another similar lawsuit
A class-action lawsuit accusing Tether and Bitfinex that manipulated the Bitcoin market has been withdrawn by the plaintiffs and re-filed with the addition of a new plaintiff in a different jurisdiction.
A document filed January 7 in the US District Court for Washington’s Western District shows that the plaintiffs Eric Young and Adam Kurtz have chosen to voluntarily dismiss their lawsuits against iFinex, the parent firm of Bitfinex and Tether. However, the following day, the suit was tweaked with the addition of David Crystal as the plaintiff. The lawsuit by Young et al. was followed on Jan 9 by a similar class-action filing by Bryan Faubus.
It’s still unknown why Young and Kutz decided to refine the case, and U.S. law states cases that have been dismissed voluntarily can never be brought to court again if it is dismissed a second time.
The original lawsuit
On Oct 10, the class-action lawsuit filed against iFinex, it alleged that companies manipulated the cryptocurrency market out of up to US$1.4 trillion in 2017 by issuing unbacked Tether (USDT) that was then sold for BTC to increase its price. Plaintiffs argued that due to common belief about each USDT represented one real dollar make traders eagerly join in the market, fostering it by an excessive amount that later led to the bear market in 2018.
Based heavily on a case filed by the New York Attorney General in April last year, they also accused the defendants of manipulating the market by printing untreated documents.
Then, both companies refused the allegations in their entirety, attempting to dismiss the class-action suit outright by describing the claims thrown at them as “meritless and mercenary.”
Besides, Tether emphasized that its coin is backed by 1:1 with the US dollars but overturned this stance in February when the Department of Justice investigated, changing its position to say that it may include other assets.
In a statement on Friday, Stuart Hoegner, Bitfinex’s general adviser, said that clearly the plaintiffs have determined that their actions should be filed in the Southern District of New York, which raises questions of why it was filed in Washington State in the first place. Whether this complaint is filed in Washington State or Southern District of New York, it is completely meritless and will be processed on time.
The similar class-action lawsuit
According to text comparison tools shows that the lawsuit filed by Bryan Faubus – a self-identified Bitcoin trader and the original lawsuit are virtually identical, despite some parts in Faubus’s are different in that they refer to Young’s class action.
It is not clear what relationship (if any), the two plaintiffs have together. Moreover, it is also unclear why the original class action was refiled in New York, although it would make sense when to be incorporated into New York iFinexftime. As the previous indictment of Crypto Capital Corp, a former business partner of iFinex, possible motivations that can have to do with the Southern District court also the district’s general reputation for strictness in financial litigation.
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