Mt. Gox asks for postponement of Karpeles’ deposition in US court

Mark Karpeles
Mt. Gox CEO Mark Karpeles bows in ritual apology on Japanese TV while at a press conference on 28 February, when the bitcoin exchange filed for bankruptcy protection. Source: IDGNS

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15 April 2014 | 0

Mt. Gox CEO Mark Karpeles, who was ordered to appear before a US bankruptcy court to answer questions, has asked for a postponement of his deposition.

In an emergency motion, Karpeles seeks to appear before the US Bankruptcy Court for the Northern District of Texas, Dallas Division, tentatively on 5 May rather than at a Thursday appearance set by the court.

The filing on Monday by the failed Bitcoin exchange cited Karpeles’ need to hire a counsel in connection with a subpoena from the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) of the US Department of the Treasury to appear before it and provide testimony on Friday in Washington, DC FinCEN has been scrutinizing virtual currencies recently.

Until such time as counsel is retained and has an opportunity to “get up to speed” and advise Karpeles on the FinCEN subpoena, “he is not willing to travel to the US,” according to the filing. The subpoena from FinCEN did not attach a document request and did not specify topics for discussion, it added.

The Tokyo exchange filed on 9 March for bankruptcy protection in the US, after filing for bankruptcy in Tokyo District Court on 28 February.

The company suspended trading on 25 February and said it had lost around 750,000 Bitcoins owned by customers and around 100,000 belonging to the exchange, valued at $474 million at the time.
 The exchange later said it found 200,000 bitcoins, worth about $116 million.

On 25 March, Gregory D. Greene and Joseph Lack, plaintiffs in another US litigation filed a motion to compel testimony by Karpeles in the bankruptcy court, which ordered his deposition in Dallas, Texas on Thursday. Greene and Lack have filed a class action suit in Illinois, alleging that the exchange was involved in fraud and the theft of bitcoins.

Mt. Gox was non-committal on whether the process of hiring a lawyer would be complete by 5 May. The exchange said in the filing that it “cannot guarantee that Mr Karpeles will attend the deposition on 5 May, 2014, either.”

IDG News Service

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