US Class Action Lawyer: Mt. Gox Wallet Discovery "Highly Suspect"
Chris Dore, a partner at Edelson law firm, talks to CoinDesk about the latest Mt. Gox case developments.
Bankrupt Japan-based bitcoin exchange Mt. Gox released a new press statement earlier today (21st March) confirming 20th March reports that it had uncovered an 'old-format' bitcoin wallet containing some 200,000 bitcoins ($115.8m at press time) presumed lost in the run-up to its insolvency.
The statement indicated that the company discovered the funds on 7th March and promptly informed the necessary authorities of the recovery.
However, Chris Dore, a partner at Edelson law firm, isn't exactly buying Mt. Gox's version of the events.
Dore, whose firm represents the US class action against the insolvent exchange, suggested that the announcement is closely tied to matters it is currently investigating.
Dore summed up his opinion on the news, telling CoinDesk:
Instead, Dore indicated he believes that the funds may be connected to his firm's ongoing investigation of 180,000 bitcoins that were said to have been moving through the blockchain on or around 7th March.
Dore suggested that the announcement may have been a move by Mt. Gox to make it harder for information to be uncovered about the funds.
Added Dore: "If it's a coincidence, it's a $120m coincidence. We frankly just don't buy it."
Investigating the funds
In an interview, Dore elaborated on court proceedings held yesterday, noting that during the day's events his legal team had asked for restrictions on Mt. Gox's assets to be relaxed, a request the judge approved. Dore said that his team asked for certain third parties to be able to move the funds.
The correlation between the events, Dore suggested, raises questions about Mt. Gox and its conduct.
Dore was not able to fully elaborate on his suspicions regarding the movement of the funds.
Said Dore: "Our hope was, if they could continue to move, we could track where they would end up."
What the finding means
Dore also addressed another lingering question, just what exactly does the discovery of the funds mean for former exchange users given that these parties are not creditors.
However, that may be up for dispute. Dore indicated that his firm could still make the case that his clients should be treated with this legal distinction.
"In our view, any assets are impactful on our settlement, because [these are] the assets, the fiat currency [and] the bitcoins of our class members. We will do everything in our power to get those returns."
The next scheduled hearing is expected to take place on 1st April. Then, Mt. Gox will attempt to shield its US assets until the conclusion of its bankruptcy proceedings in Japan.
Image credit: Burglar via Shutterstock
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.
Learn more about Consensus 2023, 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.