The New York State Supreme Court ruled that the New York State Attorney General's Office (NYAG) has jurisdiction over the cryptocurrency exchange Bitfinex.
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According to a court document dated August 19, this will allow NYAG to continue investigating Bitfinex on allegations of fraud and misleading investors.
In this document, Judge Cole Cohen dismissed a motion proposed by Bitfinex to terminate NYAG’s lawsuit against Bitinex under the Martin Act. NYAG initially accused Bitfinex and related stable currency company Tether of covering $850 million in losses, which misled investors in New York State.
These allegations led to a protracted legal battle between Bitfinex and state prosecutors. The exchange claimed that it had spent $500,000 to hire more than 60 lawyers in order to meet NYAG's documentation requirements.
Jurisdictional issues have recently become a major issue in the dispute. The legal representatives of Bitfinex and Tether have previously filed a document with the court stating that neither company has served customers in New York – New York has a unique and strict regulatory regime for cryptocurrencies.
Bitfinex and Tether's lawyers claim that even if New York State can prove that they have served a New York customer, it is not certain whether they are hurt by Bitfinex or Tether.
Judge Cohen’s decision today dismissed Bitfinex and Tether’s motion to terminate the NYAG lawsuit on the grounds that it was beyond jurisdiction and also lifted the temporary suspension of the New York State investigation.
Bitfinex claims to not serve customers in New York, but there are reports that users in the United States can still access the platform through a pop-up query about their geographic location, which makes the company's claims more complicated.