Crypto Lawyer Kyle Roche Withdraws From Tether, Bitfinex, TRON and BitMEX Lawsuits After CryptoLeaks Scandal

The founding partner of upstart law firm Roche Freedman had been accused of starting frivolous class-action lawsuits to harm competitors of blockchain project Avalanche.

AccessTimeIconAug 31, 2022 at 8:05 p.m. UTC
Updated May 11, 2023 at 5:39 p.m. UTC
10 Years of Decentralizing the Future
May 29-31, 2024 - Austin, TexasThe biggest and most established global hub for everything crypto, blockchain and Web3.Register Now

Crypto lawyer Kyle Roche, founding partner of law firm Roche Freedman, filed to withdraw as counsel on Wednesday in several high-profile crypto class-action lawsuits after a whistleblower site alleged the lawyer was involved in “gangster-style” attacks on various crypto companies.

According to court records, Roche has filed to withdraw as an attorney in cases brought against Tether, Bitfinex, the Tron Foundation and HDR Global Trading (which operates as BitMEX).

The cases are all aspiring class-action suits that allege the crypto companies named have defrauded retail customers.

The withdrawal comes just days after a series of videos published on whistleblower site Crypto Leaks appeared to show Roche bragging about his use of the law to harvest sensitive information on crypto companies. The videos also appeared to show Roche referring to jurors as “10 idiots” and the plaintiffs in the class-action lawsuits as “100,000 idiots.”

In a statement, Roche called the videos “illegally obtained, highly edited video clips that are not presented with accurate context.”

Roche, who has previously been retained by Ava Labs, the company behind the development of the Avalanche blockchain, has also been accused of starting frivolous lawsuits against competitors of Avalanche in the Crypto Leaks report.

Kyle Roche and Ava Labs founder Emin Gün Sirer have both denied the accusations. Kyle Roche, Roche Freeman and a spokesperson for Ava Labs did not immediately respond to a request for comment Wednesday.

Wednesday’s motion said that Roche would “withdraw as one of the attorneys for the Proposed Class” and “is no longer involved” in his firm’s class action practice.

Roche has not filed to withdraw as an attorney in other class actions brought against Nexo, Dfinity, BAM Trading (the operator for Binance.US), Solana Labs, the Celsius Network bankruptcy case or Block.one.

Roche also still represents Emin Gün Sirer directly in a handful of legal actions, according to court filings.

However, it appears the class-action lawsuits have not been dropped altogether and will likely proceed with law firm Roche Freedman at the helm – just without its name partner involved.

Disclosure

Please note that our privacy policy, terms of use, cookies, and do not sell my personal information has been updated.

The leader in news and information on cryptocurrency, digital assets and the future of money, CoinDesk is an award-winning media outlet that strives for the highest journalistic standards and abides by a strict set of editorial policies. In November 2023, CoinDesk was acquired by Bullish group, owner of Bullish, a regulated, institutional digital assets exchange. Bullish group is majority owned by Block.one; both groups have interests in a variety of blockchain and digital asset businesses and significant holdings of digital assets, including bitcoin. CoinDesk operates as an independent subsidiary, and an editorial committee, chaired by a former editor-in-chief of The Wall Street Journal, is being formed to support journalistic integrity.

Tracy Wang

Tracy was the deputy managing editor at CoinDesk. She owns BTC, ETH, MINA, ENS and some NFTs.

Nikhilesh De

Nikhilesh De is CoinDesk's managing editor for global policy and regulation. He owns marginal amounts of bitcoin and ether.


Learn more about Consensus 2024, CoinDesk's longest-running and most influential event that brings together all sides of crypto, blockchain and Web3. Head to consensus.coindesk.com to register and buy your pass now.