In late February, the New York Attorney General’s office (“NYAG”) settled with Bitfinex and Tether stemming from charges relating to financial mismanagement. The NYAG alleged that Bitfinex and Tether attempted to cover up the loss of approximately $850 million in customer funds. Additionally, the NYAG alleged that Tether misrepresented that its stable coin maintained adequate reserves of one US dollar for every one Tether coin. As part of the settlement, Bitfinex and Tether agreed to pay $18.5 million, cease trading with New York residents and entities, and will provide quarterly transparency reports to the NYAG. As part of the settlement, Bitfinex and Tether neither admit nor deny any of the NYAG’s findings.
In a statement, New York Attorney General Leticia James declared:
Bitfinex and Tether recklessly and unlawfully covered-up massive financial losses to keep their scheme going and protect their bottom lines. Tether’s claims that its virtual currency was fully backed by U.S. dollars at all times was a lie. These companies obscured the true risk investors faced and were operated by unlicensed and unregulated individuals and entities dealing in the darkest corners of the financial system.