Crypto exchange Bitfinex has once again questioned the New York Attorney General’s oversight authority in an official response to the ‘reply brief’ filed by the NYAG on December 4 to the Supreme Court of the State of New York.
Bitfinex asked the court to dismiss the New York attorney general’s case against the exchange and Tether, saying they did nothing wrong as they have never targeted investors in the state.
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The New York Office of the Attorney General has responded to an appeal by Bitfinex challenging the Aug 19 verdict that ordered them to cooperate in their ongoing investigations of an alleged $850 million cover-up. The NYAG’s latest filing described the exchange’s arguments as backward, forfeited, and “meritless.”
Making matters worse, says Bitfinex, OAG has proceeded under a statute, the Martin Act, governing securities and commodities, neither of which describes the product bought by the supposed victims here, its stablecoin Tether.
“Our view is that the New York Attorney General’s entire proceeding should have been dismissed by the Supreme Court at first instance. The proceeding does not arise from any conduct by Bitfinex or Tether in New York, and tether tokens are not securities or commodities within the meaning of New York’s Martin Act. Moreover, the Attorney General’s brief reads as if it is Bitfinex’s and Tether’s regulator, which it manifestly is not,” explains Bitfinex.
The crypto exchange also accuses the office of using “a highly misleading factual presentation,” when it described its loan as nothing more than an IOU from Bitfinex “that seemed unlikely to be repaid.”
“Holders of tethers are entitled to redeem them for exactly what they paid for them – no more and no less – and Tether has had no issue satisfying redemption requests to anyone, even after the New York Attorney General’s incendiary case,” Bitfinex concluded.
Tether parent challenges regulatory authority
Back in April, the New York attorney general accused Bitfinex, who shares a parent company with Tether, of using $700 million from the stablecoin reserves to cover up losses of $850 million. The crypto exchange defended itself, saying the money was deposited with a Panamanian-company called Crypto Capital but then was seized and safeguarded in several jurisdictions, including Poland, Portugal, the UK, and the United States, all through no fault of Bitfinex.
The wild story took another turn on May 16 after the New York supreme court granted the motion to modify the substance and temporal scope of the original injunction filed by NY Attorney against Bitfinex’s business. Bitfinex also wanted the supreme court to help it further and deny the NYAG’s request to turn over the documentation about the loan and line of credit that Tether provided to the controversial cryptocurrency exchange.
But later in August, the same court turned down a plea by Bitfinex parent, iFinex, to dismiss the New York Attorney General (NYAG)’s lawsuit against its subsidiary.