BitMEX Co-Founder Ben Delo to Face Class-Action Lawsuit for Alleged Price Manipulation

BitMEX a symbolic representation of legal scrutiny over cryptocurrency trading practices, featuring a gavel and digital currency symbols.


BitMEX Co-Founder Ben Delo to Face Class-Action Lawsuit for Alleged Price Manipulation

Ben Delo, co-founder of the cryptocurrency exchange BitMEX, is slated to confront a class-action lawsuit, as determined by a United States federal judge. This legal challenge accuses him of playing a significant role in an alleged scheme to manipulate market prices.

Judge Rules Against Dismissal

Judge Andrew Carter of the New York District Court dismissed Delo’s plea to drop the lawsuit due to claimed lack of jurisdiction. The ruling on April 3, which was made public on April 8, indicates that Delo’s actions sufficiently connected him to the United States, thereby granting the court jurisdiction over the case.

Allegations of a Price Manipulation Scheme

The lawsuit, filed by a group of BitMEX users in April 2020, alleges that Delo, along with co-founders Arthur Hayes and Samuel Reed, misused their access to customer accounts through a mechanism dubbed “God Access.” This allowed them to engage in trades designed to liquidate users en masse, generating profits for the exchange.

Further claims suggest that BitMEX’s trading desk, initially disclosed under scrutiny in April 2018, was far from neutral, instead actively trading against its customers through undisclosed accounts.


Delo’s Involvement and Control

Judge Carter’s findings also emphasize Delo’s integral role in key financial and trading decisions at BitMEX, including the operations of the controversial trading desk. Delo is accused of directly participating in trading activities on the platform, exploiting the same undisclosed advantages that are now under legal scrutiny.

Previous Legal Woes

This class-action lawsuit adds to the legal troubles for Delo, Hayes, and Reed, who have previously faced criminal charges related to evasion of money laundering rules. In October 2020, the trio was accused of causing BitMEX to violate the Bank Secrecy Act. They have since entered guilty pleas and are awaiting sentencing, with Delo having been sentenced to 30 months of probation in June of the previous year for failing to uphold an Anti-Money Laundering program at BitMEX.


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