Mark Karpeles tries to nix ex-MtGox customer’s claims against him

Maria Nikolova

Mark Karpeles insists the California Central District Court lack jurisdiction over him.

Mark Karpeles, the head of ill-famed Bitcoin exchange MtGox, is seeking to dismiss another lawsuit brought against him in the United States. The case, brought by Joseph Lack, a resident of California, accuses Karpeles of negligence and fraud.

On May 6, 2019, Karpeles filed a Notice of Motion to Dismiss with the California Central District Court. The main argument, as one might expect, is alleged lack of personal jurisdiction.

In the document, seen by FinanceFeeds, Karpeles argues that he has never stepped foot in California nor the United States. Further, he insists he was not engaged in the MtGox’s day-to-day accounting, marketing or sales. Neither MtGox, nor Karpeles directed any activity toward any domicile or resident of California.

Karpeles says he was not aware of the lawsuit brought by Lack until April 2019. Given the approaching deadlines, according to Karpeles, he would not be able to prepare his defense if the Court holds it has jurisdiction.

The plaintiff – Joseph Lack, joined Mt. Gox in January 2014. Upon joining, he wired $40,000 to Mt.Gox’s Mizuho account. Mizuho accepted the transfer and collected the transaction fee. On February 24, 2014, the website of the exchange went unresponsive. Lack waited in vain for his deposit to appear in his Mt Gox account and he did not succeed in getting his money back. Accordingly, Lack brought an action against Karpeles and Mizuho.

In April this year, Judge R Gary Klausner of the California Central District Court, denied Lack’s motion for class certification. The Judge said the plaintiff had failed to show that common questions would predominate in resolving his claim as a class action. The Court found that Plaintiff had failed to meet his burden. 

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