As part of the legal proceedings related to a market manipulation case that dates back to 2019, Katherine Polk Failla, a judge for the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, has ordered Tether’s parent company to provide financial records for its USDT stablecoin.
The legal case originates from a complaint filed by a group of investors against iFinex, the entity behind Tether and crypto exchange Bitfinex. The plaintiffs claim that the business issued unbacked USDT with the aim to ramp up the prices of various cryptocurrencies, and thus manipulated the market.
The New York judge has decided to accept the plaintiffs’ requests for production (RFPs) which require iFinex to release “any and all general ledgers, balance sheets, income statements, cash-flow statements, and profit and loss statements,” according to the available court documents.
In her order, the judge said the “Court finds that Plaintiffs’ financial records RFPs are not overly broad, particularly given that Defendants have had opportunities to make sample productions of the financial records RFPs, but have failed to do so despite Plaintiffs’ agreement to such proposal”.
“Plaintiffs plainly explain why they need this information: to assess the backing of USDT with US dollars, and to allow a forensic accountant to assess the USDT reserve,” according to the judge.
In response to the order, New York-based law firm Debevoise & Plimpton, which represents iFinex on the case, said that the plaintiffs’ requests demonstrate “their failure to actively prosecute their case, as well as their unwillingness to tailor their patently overbroad requests to documents that are relevant to their claims.”
With this in mind, the defendant’s law firm has asked the court to deny plaintiffs’ request which it considers to be “unduly burdensome on their face, considering that Tether is the issuer of a stablecoin and Bitfinex is a cryptocurrency exchange.”