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 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.
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.