Founder of Bitcoin Exchange Mt. Gox, Mark Karpeles disputes U.S. fraud lawsuit
Mark Karpeles, the founder of now-defunct Bitcoin (BTC) exchange Mt. Gox has urged a U.S. federal judge in the state of Illinois to dismiss a fraud lawsuit. The lawsuit was brought on two former clients of Mt. Gox, Gregory Greene and Anthony Motto, who sought to hold Karpeles responsible for the money they have lost in the exchange’s collapse and bankruptcy back in 2014.
According to law360, Mark Karpeles insists that the Northern District Court of Illinois has no personal jurisdiction over as he is a French citizen currently residing in Japan. Further, his representatives told District Court Judge Gary Feinerman that Karpeles has no connection to Illinois, where the suit accusing him of conversion, negligence, and fraud related to Mt. Gox’s failure was filed. He thus requests dismal of the said case.
In an excerpt from his motion to dismiss the claims against him, his attorneys state:
“Mr. Karpeles expressly asserts that this Court lacks personal jurisdiction over him and preserves this objection and argument for all purposes…Because this Court lacks personal jurisdiction over Mr. Karpeles, this proceeding against him must be dismissed with no further actions taken, including but not limited to the entry of any default.”
Karpeles’ attorneys argued further:
“[He hasn’t] purposefully directed his activities at the forum state or purposefully availed himself of the privilege of conducting business in that state. [nor] alleged injury arise out of the defendant’s forum-related activities.”
Though the plaintiffs claim that Karpeles conducted his business in the U.S. state of Illinois through the Mt. Gox exchange and its parent company Tibanne K.K. They add that the Mizuho Bank, Ltd., which serviced the official account of the Mt. Gox exchange, was a trap, as they could deposit money to their accounts, but could not withdraw it from them.
The aforementioned accusations are in relation to Mt. Gox’s bankruptcy as a result of hacking and alleged embezzlement in 2014. At the time, Mt Gox lost approximately one million bitcoins, nearly 7 billion in current day prices. As a part of its civil rehabilitation proceedings, Mt. Gox began accepting claims from its creditors from August 23.
Founded in 2010. Mt.Gox became the world’s leading Bitcoin exchange by 2013. At that time, the firm reportedly processed over 70% of all BTC transactions worldwide. In June 2013, it started off with all the withdrawals were suspended for two weeks and In February 2014 Mt. Gox’s website went dark, the exchange service was closed, and the company ultimately filed for bankruptcy.
Nobuaki Kobayashi, Mt. Gox trustee, who is overseeing the customer reimbursement process, launched an online claim filing system last week for customers to register claims of funds lost at Mt. Gox four years ago. Earlier this month, The exchange’s creditors have outlined a revised repayments plan. A list of all accepted and rejected claims – filed before a deadline on October 22, 2018 – will be revealed by the trustee on January 24, 2019.
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