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Cryptocurrency maker sues former Ars reporter for writing about fraud lawsuit

Promotional image of a man using a machine that looks like an ATM and is labeled
Enlarge / Picture from Bitcoin Latinum’s web site

Bitcoin Latinum

The cryptocurrency agency Bitcoin Latinum has sued journalists at Forbes and Poker.org, claiming that the writers made false and defamatory statements in articles that described securities fraud lawsuits filed towards the crypto agency.

Bitcoin Latinum and its founder, Donald Basile, filed a libel lawsuit towards Forbes reporter Cyrus Farivar and one other libel lawsuit towards Poker.org and its reporter Haley Hintze. (Farivar was a long-time Ars Technica reporter.)

The lawsuits are shocking as a result of the Forbes article and the Poker.org article, each printed in 2022, are very very like 1000’s of different information tales that describe allegations in a lawsuit. In each articles, it’s clear that the allegations come from the filer of the lawsuit and never from the creator of the article.

However each of Bitcoin Latinum’s lawsuits, which had been filed final week in Delaware’s Courtroom of Chancery, demand that the articles be retracted. They comprise the next declare in precisely the identical phrases:

The Article comprises statements which insinuate and lead the reader to consider that Assofi’s allegations towards Plaintiff Latinum and Plaintiff Basile are factual and proper, and which statements usually are not couched because the opinion of the creator, however somewhat, are introduced as truth, and due to this fact don’t fall below any relevant privilege.

“Assofi’s allegations” are these made in a lawsuit filed towards Bitcoin Latinum and Basile in November 2022. That lawsuit from Arshad Assofi, who mentioned he misplaced over $15 million investing in nugatory tokens, alleged that Bitcoin Latinum “is a rip-off” and accused the defendants of securities fraud and different violations. Bitcoin Latinum calls itself “the way forward for Bitcoin.”

Lawsuit cites flawed article

It is particularly shocking that Bitcoin Latinum’s lawsuit towards Hintze comprises the assertion about “Assofi’s allegations” as a result of the Hintze article cited within the lawsuit by no means mentions Assofi. The Hintze article on Poker.org is a few completely different lawsuit from completely different plaintiffs who additionally alleged securities fraud.

The truth is, the Hintze article was printed in February 2022, 10 months earlier than the Assofi lawsuit was filed. TechDirt’s Mike Masnick identified this error in an article yesterday:

It seems that Latinum’s lawyer truly meant to sue over a completely different Poker.org article, that was printed in November concerning the Assofi lawsuit, however repeatedly claims that the article was printed on February 5, 2022, somewhat than the precise publication date of the article she meant, which was November 21, 2022. Additionally, Latinum’s lawyer included the February fifth article because the exhibit, somewhat than the November twenty first article. Such consideration to element to speak concerning the flawed article and embody the flawed article as an exhibit. Prime notch lawyering.

Masnick additionally factors out that the statute of limitations is 2 years, and the lawsuit towards Hintze was filed greater than two years after her February 2022 article.

In libel instances, journalists might defend themselves with the “honest report privilege.” This is applicable to correct reporting on official authorities issues, together with courtroom proceedings.

The lawyer for Bitcoin Latinum within the Farivar and Hintze instances is Holly Whitney, who makes a speciality of property planning and probate instances. We contacted Whitney and Bitcoin Latinum concerning the lawsuits right this moment and can replace this text if we get a response.

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