Alleged Bitcoin fraudster demands cryptocurrency trading info from CFTC and CME

Maria Nikolova

Judge says “no” to Patrick McDonnell’s request to subpoena the personal cryptocurrency trading accounts/records of a number of CFTC and CME attorneys and investigators.

In the face of the leniency that the Court has shown towards Patrick McDonnell, a defendant in a virtual currency fraud case, the number of his requests continues to grow. McDonnell and his company CabbageTech, doing business as Coin Drop Markets (CDM), is charged with fraud and misappropriation in connection with purchases and trading of Bitcoin and Litecoin.

Since the start of the week, he has sent at least seven emails to the New York Eastern District Court, with the nature of the emails ranging from “I give up” to various requests.

In his latest set of emails, filed with the Court on April 18, 2018, McDonnell moved the Court to subpoena “the personal cryptocurrency trading accounts/records of all CFTC/CME attorney’s/investigator’s involved in the above referenced matter beginning from but not limited to trade information dated January 18, 2018 to April 17, 2018”. In particular, the defendant is seeking such information about Gates S. Hurand, David W. Oakland, Alejandra de Urioste, K. Brent Tomer, Manal M. Sultan, Christopher Giglio (investigator), all employed by the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, and Jonathan L. Marcus attorney for the Chicago Mercantile Exchange.

On top of that McDonnell asks the Court’s permission to subpoena “known cryptocurrency trading exchanges believed to have been used or are currently being used by individuals named in the above defendant subpoena permission request for time period listed”.

The Magistrate Judge assigned to the case, however, on Wednesday denied the request, stating that “those individuals are not parties to this action, and the information sought has no apparent relevance to the claims in this case”.

Let’s recall that the case against McDonnell has resulted in a landmark judgement about the status of virtual currencies as commodities, thus acknowledging the right of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) to oversee this market segment and to take enforcement action against cryptocurrency fraud.

CME has supported such a judgement by sending a Letter as Amicus Curiae. In the Letter, CME warned the Court of the grave consequences if Bitcoin and its likes do not have the status of commodities under the Commodity Exchange Act.

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