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Defamation Suit Filed Against Wall Street Journal Over Crypto Article

Defamation Suit Filed Against Wall Street Journal Over Crypto Article

Key Takeaways

  • Christopher Harborne, owner of AML Global Ltd., is suing The Wall Street Journal for defamation over claims made in an article about crypto firms Tether and Bitfinex engaging in unethical banking practices.
  • Harborne disputes the allegations of his involvement in fraudulent activities.
  • Despite an editorial note from the WSJ aiming to clarify the intentions behind Harborne's banking efforts, Harborne proceeded with the lawsuit.

The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) faces a defamation lawsuit filed by Christopher Harborne, owner of AML Global Ltd., over allegations made in an article concerning crypto firms Tether and Bitfinex.

The WSJ report of March 2023 suggested the firms, in their quest to secure banking relationships, engaged in questionable practices involving "shadowy intermediaries, falsified documents, and shell companies."

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The report implicated several business executives, including Harborne, alleging involvement in these dubious methods to assist Tether and Bitfinex in circumventing banking obstacles.

Responding to the accusations, Harborne and AML Global have initiated legal action in a Delaware state court, arguing that the article unjustly linked them to fraudulent activities, money laundering, and even terrorist financing. The suit states:

The Journal and its reporters knew and possessed documentation that conclusively showed that those accusations are false.

Harborne emphasizes his limited connection to the crypto firms, being "merely a minority shareholder" without any management or executive role in Bitfinex or Tether.

A week before the lawsuit was filed, the WSJ removed the section involving Harborne and AML. In addition, an editor's note was added to dissociate them from the alleged misleading efforts by Tether and Bitfinex.

Despite this editorial amendment, Harborne proceeded with the lawsuit, prompting a defense from the WSJ, which stands by its journalistic integrity and vows a robust legal defense against the claims, which it describes as filled with inaccuracies and distortions.

As the case progresses, it draws attention to the specific allegations and defenses and the broader implications for media responsibility and the reputational risks faced by individuals and companies in the crypto sector.

Another legal battle the crypto community is witnessing involves Sam Bankman-Fried, founder of now-bankrupt crypto exchange FTX, who was found guilty of seven counts in a financial fraud case. A recent update of the case is that the former CEO requested a shorter prison sentence, claiming no harm to customers and investors.

Aaron S., Editor-In-Chief
Having completed a Master’s degree in Economics, Politics, and Cultures of the East Asia region, Aaron has written scientific papers analyzing the differences between Western and Collective forms of capitalism in the post-World War II era.
With close to a decade of experience in the FinTech industry, Aaron understands all of the biggest issues and struggles that crypto enthusiasts face. He’s a passionate analyst who is concerned with data-driven and fact-based content, as well as that which speaks to both Web3 natives and industry newcomers.
Aaron is the go-to person for everything and anything related to digital currencies. With a huge passion for blockchain & Web3 education, Aaron strives to transform the space as we know it, and make it more approachable to complete beginners.
Aaron has been quoted by multiple established outlets, and is a published author himself. Even during his free time, he enjoys researching the market trends, and looking for the next supernova.

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