BitMEX racketeering complaint dismissed over lengthy ‘copy and paste’ claims
A U.S. District Judge has dismissed amended racketeering allegations brought by traders against the parent company of derivatives exchange BitMEX, HDR Global trading, noting that many of the plaintiff’s accusations had been copy and pasted from a different lawsuit filed against the platform.
On Sept. 7, Judge William Orrick dismissed the plaintiff’s claims that BitMEX had engaged in market manipulation, fraudulent inducement, and violated both the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organization Act (RICO) and Commodity Exchange Acts.
According to Law360, Judge Orrick concluded the filings were “conclusory” and “prolix” in nature, stating:
“The size and prolix nature […] alone are grounds for dismissal. I have also searched for a plausible claim and cannot find one.”
The amended complaint was brought forward by a group of cryptocurrency traders including BMA LLC — a company formerly known as “Bitcoin Manipulation Abatement” that is notorious for bringing litigation against high-profile crypto firms — after judge Orrick rejected an earlier version in March on the grounds it was excessively wordy.
Despite the court explicitly warning that the previous 237 page, 600 paragraph complaint had been too long, the plaintiffs’ amended complaint was 378 pages long and featured more than 1,000 paragraphs.
The judge also ruled the amended complaint included accusations of market manipulation that had been copied and pasted from a different lawsuit filed against BitMEX in New York.
“I will not consider those copied allegations, for which the Messieh court will determine plausibility,” Judge Orrick said. “Plaintiffs’ other allegations are insufficient for the same reasons identified in my previous order.”
Related: BREAKING: BitMEX will pay $100M in penalties to FinCEN, CFTC
The plaintiffs are not permitted to bring the case again, with Orrick shooting down their request for further amendments. Pavel Pogodin, legal representation to the plaintiffs, rejected the judge’s claim their amended complaint featured copied text, telling Law360: “Judge Orrick did not cite a single case to support his assertions regarding the copied material.”
Pogodin added that individual traders who dropped the complaint without prejudice earlier this month plan to again bring the charges forward, next time in a California state court.
In July, Judge Orrick scolded the plaintiffs’ lawyer after they claimed the judge did not properly understand cryptocurrency and offered to give Orrick lessons on the “basics” of digital assets. Judge Orrick rejected the offer, stating: “focus on the task at hand — convincing me that they have stated a plausible claim.”