New York Court Asserts Jurisdiction Over Bitfinex Proceedings

Samuel Haig

On Aug. 19, New York Supreme Court Judge Joel Cohen rejected Bitfinex and Tether’s motion to dismiss the case filed against the companies by the New York Attorney General (NYAG).

The NYAG invoked the 1921 Martin Act to assert jurisdiction over the proceedings, however, the cryptocurrency exchange and stablecoin issuer's legal representation had sought to argue that the court does not have jurisdiction over the case, claiming that it did not operate in New York nor serve any New York-based customers during a hearing on July 29. In response, the NYAG has argued that it is “premature” for the court to make rulings regarding the case’s jurisdiction during an ongoing investigation.

While the court expressed its disagreement with the NYAG’s assertion that it is premature to make jurisdictional rulings, the judge found that “based on the evidence and applicable law” that it does have jurisdiction and “a clear statutory mandate” to adjudicate the case.

As such, the court denied Bitfinex’s motion and has ceased the temporary stay of the investigation, giving Bitfinex and Tether 90 days to provide documentation requested by the NYAG.

Bitfinex/Tether Spent Over $500,000

At the end of July, Bitfinex and Tether’s representation filed a letter with the court claiming that it had already spent $500,000 in attempting to respond to the NYAG’s document demands.

The letter also asserted that the companies would appeal a decision by the supreme court to deny the motion to dismiss the case.