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Wall Street Journal sued for defamation over fake news about crypto firms

Wall Street Journal

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TL;DR

  • The Wall Street Journal is sued for defamation by Christopher Harborne and AML Global Ltd over a 2023 article alleging illegal crypto activities.
  • The lawsuit claims the Journal falsely accused Harborne and his company of fraud, money laundering, and financing terrorism.
  • The article in question detailed how crypto firms like Tether and Bitfinex struggled to maintain banking access, allegedly using dubious methods.

The Wall Street Journal, the prestigious publication, finds itself in the hot seat, facing a legal battle that has started yet another scandal with the crypto industry. Christopher Harborne, a shareholder of the stablecoin giant Tether, has launched a defamation lawsuit against the media titan. The lawsuit is over a contentious piece the Journal ran last year, which painted a rather unflattering picture of Harborne and his associates, accusing them of engaging in a laundry list of nefarious activities ranging from fraud to money laundering, and even financing terrorism.

The article blatantly stated that in 2018, the brains behind the Bitfinex exchange were desperately clawing at straws to keep their banking connections alive. According to the Journal, this quest for financial solvency led them to involve dubious intermediaries, forged documents, and ghost companies. The report went on to describe how these efforts were part of a broader, somewhat desperate strategy to stay afloat in the global banking system, a lifeline for any firm in the cryptocurrency industry.

The piece also cited emails and documents that supposedly showed these “backers” employing a shadow network to mask their true intentions and operations. Stephen Moore, the chief strategy officer of Tether Holdings Ltd, was quoted as expressing concerns over the use of falsified sales invoices and contracts, hinting at the high stakes and risks involved in their banking.

Harborne, identified as a dual British and Thai citizen with a diverse investment portfolio spanning technology and aviation, was spotlighted in the article, with at least five paragraphs dedicated to his and AML Global’s attempts to open an account with Signature Bank. This coverage, however, was later pulled from the Journal’s website, with an editor’s note added, leaving many to question the motives and accuracy of the original reporting.

Tether, in response to the article, strongly denied the accusations, championing their “world-class compliance programs” and adherence to legal standards. The company, along with Bitfinex, has been a towering figure in the cryptocurrency market, with Tether’s stablecoin serving as a crucial cog in the crypto economy’s wheel, often outperforming even Bitcoin and Ethereum in terms of trading volume.

This coincides with the fact that the cryptocurrency industry is being investigated more thoroughly by U.S. law enforcement and authorities, with the Justice Department increasing its probes into different parts of the business. Although the Justice Department was not actively investigating Tether when the story was published, the firm claimed to often communicate openly with law enforcement and was still under heavy scrutiny.

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 decision.

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Jai Hamid

Jai Hamid is a passionate writer with a keen interest in blockchain technology, the global economy, and literature. She dedicates most of her time to exploring the transformative potential of crypto and the dynamics of worldwide economic trends.

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