Mark Karpeles gets a month to justify his motion to dismiss US case brought by ex-MtGox clients

Maria Nikolova

Judge gives MtGox founder until September 25, 2018, to file a brief in support of motion to dismiss lawsuit brought by former clients of the ill-fated Bitcoin exchange.

Shortly after Mark Karpeles, the founder of notorious MtGox, pushed to nix a US lawsuit brought against him by clients of the now-defunct Bitcoin exchange, a hearing was held at the Illinois Northern District Court. Following the hearing, the Honorable Gary Feinerman set the deadlines for the next steps in the case.

Mark Karpeles is given until September 25, 2018, that is, nearly a month, to substantiate his motion to dismiss the case against him. He will have to file a brief in support of his motion. The plaintiffs in this case have until October 16, 2018, to respond to Karpeles.

The action was brought by Gregory Greene and Anthony Motto who have sought to hold Mizuho Bank, Ltd. and Mark Karpeles liable for financial losses associated with the collapse of Mt. Gox. According to the plaintiffs, the investors who wired money into Mt. Gox’s account at Mizuho Bank after June 21, 2013, walked into a trap: their money could go into Mt. Gox’s account at Mizuho, but it could never leave.

Bitcoin investors were informed on June 21, 2013, of a “temporary hiatus” in the USD withdrawals from Mt. Gox and then told on July 4th that withdrawals had resumed.

Mt. Gox’s customers kept trading on the Exchange and relied on Mt. Gox’s promise that it would hold funds on behalf of its customers. When thousands of individuals submitted requests to withdraw their fiat currencies from Mt. Gox’s account at Mizuho, Mt. Gox was able to offer a only a handful of investors relief, though only after extended delay and payment of an increased fee. The majority of them, however, were left high and dry.

On February 7, 2014, Mt. Gox announced a “temporary suspension”. Two and half weeks later, the Exchange collapsed.

On Friday, August 24, 2018, Mr Karpeles filed a Motion to dismiss the case with the Court. In the document, he contested that the Illinois Northern District Court has personal jurisdiction over him in these proceedings.

The defendant noted that he is a citizen of France living in Japan, and that he does not have the necessary “minimum contacts” with this forum. Mr Karpeles also said that he has not “purposefully directed his activities at the forum state or purposefully availed himself of the privilege of conducting business in that state” nor does the “alleged injury arise out of the defendant’s forum-related activities.”

Although the plaintiffs assert the legal conclusion that “through Tibanne KK and the Mt. Gox Exchange, Karpeles conducted business throughout this District, the State of Illinois, and the United States”, they do not allege any personal activities of Karpeles, such as conducting his own business, in any of this District, the State of Illinois and the United States, or any specific activities of Karpeles, the defendant stated.

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