Crypto Exchange BitFinex and stablecoin Tether (USDT) have found themselves in fresh trouble again. This time, a New York-based law firm, Roche Freedman LLP has slapped a lawsuit against iFinex and associated companies and individuals, accusing them of collectively using cryptocurrency to “defraud investors, manipulate markets, and conceal illicit proceeds”.
BitFinex and Tether – Part Fraud, Part Pump and Dump and Part Money Laundering
The plaintiffs – Roche Freedman LLP have alleged that BitFinex and Tether were two enterprises used in “Part Fraud, Part Pump and Dump and Part Money Laundering.” According to the Class Action Complaint lodged with the United States District Court, South District of New York, the two “commingled their corporate identities and customer funds while concealing their extensive cooperation in a way that enabled them to manipulate the cryptocurrency market with unprecedented effectiveness”.
The complaint states that the Tether’s claim, “that the number of [USDT] tokens in circulation will always equate to the dollars in its bank account” is a lie. Instead, Tether has been issuing massive amounts of unbacked USDT tokens to cause cryptocurrency price manipulation. The complaint further alleges that the two companies have benefitted immensely from the “boom-and-bust” cycles created by them.
BitFinex and Tether Manipulated Crypto Price in 2017 and 2018
The complaint also highlights that the two companies were majorly responsible for the 2017 crypto bull run. According to the, Tether minted 2.8 billion USDT from 2017 to 2018 and used the token to “flood the Bitfinex exchange and purchase other cryptocurrencies”. As a result of this, the demand for cryptocurrencies got artificially inflated and caused the massive surge in cryptocurrency prices.
Owing to the schemes of BitFinex and Tether, the “largest bubble” in human history was created, only to burst quickly after that, taking “$450 billion of value” along with it in less than a month.
The complaint further mentions that the companies’ “liability to the putative class likely surpasses $1.4 trillion U.S. dollars”.
BitFinex Warned the Public About This Lawsuit
On Saturday, BitFinex had issued a statement warning the public of a coming lawsuit stemming from “baseless accusations”. It had denied the accusations and said that it would defend itself accordingly when the lawsuit was filed.
Do you think that BitFinex and Tether were involved in the crypto boom of 2017? Let us know what you think in the comments below!