Wall Street Journal faces defamation lawsuit for Tether-Bitfinex coverage


  • Christopher Harborne and his company, AML Global Ltd., have filed a defamation lawsuit against The Wall Street Journal for a March 2023 article alleging illegal activities linked to Tether and Bitfinex.
  • The WSJ added an editor’s note to the article a week before the lawsuit, removing sections that implicated Harborne and AML Global in the alleged misconduct.
  • Harborne asserts he is only a minority shareholder in Bitfinex, with no management role, countering implications of deeper involvement in the reported activities.

Christopher Harborne, owner of the Thailand-based aviation fuel broker AML Global Ltd., has filed a lawsuit against The Wall Street Journal (WSJ), accusing the publication of defamation. 

The legal action, initiated in a Delaware state court on Feb. 28, targets allegations made in a WSJ article from March 2023, which Harborne claims falsely accused him and his company of engaging in illegal activities in connection with stablecoin issuer Tether and crypto exchange Bitfinex.

The disputed article, titled “Crypto Companies Behind Tether Used Falsified Documents and Shell Companies to Get Bank Accounts,” reported that Tether and Bitfinex, facing challenges in accessing the global banking system, allegedly resorted to using intermediaries, creating shell companies, and falsifying documents. 

According to Harborne’s lawsuit, the article wrongfully implicated him and AML Global in “committing fraud, laundering money, and financing terrorists.” The WSJ later added an editor’s note to the article on Feb. 21, 2024, a week before the lawsuit was filed, stating that a section regarding Harborne and AML Global had been removed to avoid any potential implication of wrongdoing in their attempt to open an account at Signature Bank.

Wall Street Journal responds

The WSJ has responded to the lawsuit, stating that after Harborne and AML Global disputed the reporting about them, the publication reviewed and removed the section in question, adhering to their editorial standards. The newspaper also criticized the lawsuit for containing what it calls “inaccuracies and distortions” and expressed its intention to mount a robust legal defense.

Harborne’s connection to Bitfinex is highlighted in the lawsuit as a roughly 12% ownership stake, which he acquired through Bitfinex’s reimbursement plan for customers affected by a 2016 hack of the crypto exchange. The lawsuit clarifies that Harborne has never held any management or executive role at Bitfinex or Tether, identifying him as a minority shareholder.

Disclaimer. The information provided is not trading advice. Cryptopolitan.com holds no liability for any investments made based on the information provided on this page. We strongly recommend independent research and/or consultation with a qualified professional before making any investment decisions.

Share link:

Damilola Lawrence

Damilola is a crypto enthusiast, content writer, and journalist. When he is not writing, he spends most of his time reading and keeping tabs on exciting projects in the blockchain space. He also studies the ramifications of Web3 and blockchain development to have a stake in the future economy.

Most read

Loading Most Read articles...

Stay on top of crypto news, get daily updates in your inbox

Related News

Safe Acquires Multis: Strategic initiation to Elevate Cryptocoin treasury management
Subscribe to CryptoPolitan