Cryptocurrency exchange Bitfinex has suffered a minor blow in its hunt for millions of dollars that went missing two years ago.
iFinex applied for subpoenas in Colorado, Arizona and Georgia in April, but the U.S. District Court of Georgia recently denied its request due to filing errors.
According to the court ruling filed June 8 in Georgia, Magistrate Judge Alan J. Baverman said the bank iFinex is trying to subpoena merged with another financial institution and is now based in North Carolina. As such, the Georgia court does not hold jurisdiction over the exchange’s petition.
Moreover, for reasons unknown, iFinex named Citibank in its petition rather than the intended SunTrust Bank, which merged with Branch Banking and Trust Company (BB&T) to form Truist Bank in December 2019.
"[It] appears that Applicant ... has filed its petition in the wrong district. Even if Applicant had shown that SunTrust Bank still exists and is headquartered or otherwise 'resides' or 'is found' in this district, the petition would still be due to be denied as the proposed subpoena is addressed not to SunTrust Bank (or Truist Bank) but instead to Citibank,” Judge Baverman wrote.
The missing funds were first made public by the New York Attorney General’s office which alleged that Bitfinex lost the $850 million and later used a secret loan from affiliated stablecoin issuer Tether to secretly cover the shortfall.
In addition to filing its petition in the wrong district and naming the wrong bank, iFinex also failed to present relevant supporting evidence to the court. Lastly, the judge concluded that a lack of clarity on the time frame of the subpoena meant it was “unduly intrusive and burdensome."
See the Georgia court ruling in full below:
The leader in news and information on cryptocurrency, digital assets and the future of money, CoinDesk is a media outlet that strives for the highest journalistic standards and abides by a strict set of editorial policies. CoinDesk is an independent operating subsidiary of Digital Currency Group, which invests in cryptocurrencies and blockchain startups. As part of their compensation, certain CoinDesk employees, including editorial employees, may receive exposure to DCG equity in the form of stock appreciation rights, which vest over a multi-year period. CoinDesk journalists are not allowed to purchase stock outright in DCG.