Already involved in important legal actions carried out by American institutions, the co-founders of BitMEX are again accused of fraud. A civil action accuses them of having “looted” more than $ 440 million from the platform in order to reduce the funds that can be seized by the authorities.
New episode of the BitMEX affair
A civil lawsuit filed on October 30 alleges that BitQT executives have ” looted ” more than $ 440 million from the platform . Manipulation of funds that would have started in 2019, while government investigations were already underway on the company’s activities.
The lawsuit was brought by traders Vitaly Dubinin and Yaroslav Kolchin against the co-founders of BitMEX’s parent company, HDR Global Trading Limited . The charges are notably brought against Arthur Hayes , Benjamin Delo and Samuel Reed .
“The defendants Hayes, Delo and Reed are notorious fraudsters, who have been charged with criminal offenses related to money laundering by the US Department of Justice and two of them are currently fugitives from law enforcement American, ”underlines the complaint.
SOSventures , a venture capital firm founded by entrepreneur Sean O’Sullivan and having invested in BitMEX , is also believed to be involved.
The lawsuit argues that BitMEX executives engaged in this practice to reduce the amount of assets likely to be seized by the relevant authorities. The table below shows the alleged distribution of funds looted by the co-founders of BitMEX .
A spokesperson for HDR Global Trading denied these claims, telling Coindesk :
“Pavel Pogodin of Consensus Law has filed a series of increasingly bogus complaints against us and others in the cryptocurrency industry. We will deal with this matter through normal legal process and have every confidence that the courts will consider his claims for what they are. ”
Exchanges in the sights of regulators
The accusations against BitMEX and its co-founders are accompanied by other actions on a larger scale.
The platform’s descent into hell began in early October, when the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), a regulator of U.S. markets, accused BitMEX owners of violating anti-money laundering regulations. .
As a result, a large part of BitMEX users fled the platform, drastically reducing the liquidity of its markets. Less than a week later, Arthus Hayes, CEO of BitMEX, leaving office .
Recently, all eyes have been on Binance , the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange. The company would have sought to circumvent US regulations, according to a leak of documents shedding light on the existence of an entity called ” Tai Chi “, which made it possible to channel profits to Binance.
These serious accusations were quickly denied by Changpeng Zhao , CEO of the platform. He claimed on Twitter that the said document was not produced by a Binance employee and that anyone can originate such a document.
Either way, regulators and watchdogs around the world are taking an increasingly serious look at the activities of cryptocurrency exchanges. With the billions of dollars flowing through them daily, it’s not all that surprising that their activities are subject to audits.