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  • Writer's pictureJamal Saafir

New York Attorney General Sues Gemini, Genesis, and DCG for Allegedly Defrauding Investors of $1B

As reported by CoinDesk, New York Attorney General Letitia James filed a lawsuit on Thursday, October 19th, against crypto companies Gemini Trust, Genesis Global Capital, and Digital Currency Group (DCG) for allegedly defrauding over 230,000 investors, which 29,000 of were New Yorkers, for more than $1 billion.

James is aiming to ban Gemini, Genesis, and DCG from the financial investment industry in New York.

Gemini lent funds to Genesis, which is owned by DCG, as part of its Earn program, the suit stated.

The funds were later lent to counterparties such as trading firms Three Arrows Capital and Alameda Research, which eventually went bankrupt. This left Genesis with a $1.1 billion deficit. DCG also owns CoinDesk.

"Today’s lawsuit is the latest action taken by Attorney General James to rein in the cryptocurrency industry and protect investors,” the statement said, citing her recent action against crypto players CoinEx, KuCoin, and Celsius founder Alex Mashinsky.

It also follows cases taken by the federal Department of Justice against Mashinsky and FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried, who have both pleaded not guilty, and suits brought by the Securities and Exchange Commission against crypto exchanges Coinbase and Binance.

James' lawsuit alleges Gemini had knowledge that Genesis’ loans were undersecured and at one point, heavily concentrated with one entity, Bankman-Fried's trading firm Alameda Research, but did not disclose this knowledge to investors.

James also charged Genesis' former Chief Executive Officer Soichiro Moro and DCG CEO Barry Silbert with defrauding the public by working to hide significant losses that investors bore.

The defendants "disguised $1.1 billion in losses through a months-long campaign of misstatements, omissions, and concealment” by way of a promissory note, according to the suit.

Tweets sent by Genesis and DCG after the default of hedge fund Three Arrows Capital "were false, misleading, and omitted material facts," James' complaint stated. "DCG did not simply 'assume' the $1.1 billion, open-term liability related to Three Arrows, which could be called at any time; it replaced that liability with an illiquid ten-year Promissory Note."

"Even after Gemini decided to terminate Earn and provided formal notification to Genesis Capital, Gemini continued to take tens of millions of dollars’ worth of additional cryptocurrencies from Earn investors" to hand to Genesis, at the same time that Gemini employees were closing out personal positions, the suit alleged.

Gemini and Genesis "falsely claimed" they had necessary governmental licenses when, in fact, they should have registered under New York securities laws, the suit added.

“My office will continue our efforts to stop deceptive cryptocurrency companies and push for stronger regulations to protect all investors,” James said.

The filing comes during the trial of Sam Bankman-Fried (FTX founder and CEO), where it's also been alleged that crypto companies such as Paradigm, BlockFi, and Genesis did not have access to audited financial statements before investing or lending billions to his companies, including crypto exchange FTX, its U.S. arm, and Alameda.

Genesis Global Capital filed for bankruptcy in January. Gemini sued DCG and Silbert in July, making allegations that DCG then described as "defamatory" and a "publicity stunt."

Gemini stated in a post on social media platform X (formerly Twitter) that it contends with the basis of the lawsuit against them: "We wholly disagree with the NY AG’s decision to also sue Gemini. Blaming a victim for being defrauded and lied to makes no sense and we look forward to defending ourselves against this inconsistent position."

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