On Monday (August 19), the New York Supreme Court denied Bitfinex and Tether’s motion to dismiss the lawsuit (against Bitfinex and Tether) initiated by the New York State Office of the Attorney General (“NYAGO”) due to lack of jurisdiction. On Tuesday (August 20), Tether issued its response.
This is how Judge Joel M. Cohen summarized the motion to dismiss in his decision:
“Respondents seek to terminate this Martin Act action on the ground that the Court lacks personal and subject matter jurisdiction. Specifically, they contend that their businesses (mainly, an off-shore cryptocurrency exchange and a ‘stablecoin’ currency called ‘tether’ purportedly backed by U.S. dollar reserves) do not have a connection to New York sufficient to trigger personal jurisdiction. They also contend that Petitioner’s ‘extraterritorial’ investigation into their business activities (which they claim does not involve ‘securities’ or ‘commodities’) is beyond the scope of her enforcement authority under the Act, and thus this Court does not have subject matter jurisdiction to facilitate that investigation.”
He then gave the New York Supreme Court’s ruling on this motion:
“… the Court finds based on the evidence and applicable law that it has jurisdiction – and a clear statutory mandate – to adjudicate this matter. Accordingly, Respondents’ motion is denied, and the temporary stay of the investigation is dissolved.”
This means that Bitfinex (or rather its parent company iFinex) and Tether must now fully comply with the previous order and provide all the documents requested by the NYAGO.
On Tuesday, Tether issued the following formal response to Judge Cohen’s decision:
“We appreciate Justice Cohen’s consideration of our motion in late July and his order released yesterday. While we are disappointed in the decision on our motion to dismiss, we will continue to vigorously defend against any action by the New York Attorney General’s office. We look forward to the opportunity to pursue these issues further in the appellate court.
“Any assertion that we have misled our customers about Tether (USDt), its backing, or about the negotiated transaction between Bitfinex and Tether is false. We remain committed, as ever, to protecting our customers, our business, and our community against the Attorney General’s meritless claims.”