Updated July 2, 2021: The story was modified to include a response from Rondell Monroe's attorney who said that Monroe was merely a witness, was never charged in the case and had nothing to do with Bitfinex.
A US federal court has granted Bitfinex a subpoena that could help the Hong Kong-based cryptocurrency exchange recover part of the $880 million it claims its payments processor, Crypto Capital, owes it, according to a filing issued Thursday.
Stuart Hoegner, General Counsel to Bitfinex told Decrypt, "We are pleased that the court has granted our application and we look forward to receiving information and materials that can aid our international recovery efforts."
Panama-based Crypto Capital, a payments processor used by major crypto exchanges, is mired in scandal after its executives were arrested this year in connection with allegations of drug running and money laundering.
Crypto Capital’s accounts were frozen by authorities, so the payments processor said that it couldn’t return money to its clients, such as Bitfinex. But Bitfinex alleges that Crypto Capital distributed its funds across multiple bank accounts to evade detection from authorities, meaning that it might be possible to get its money back.
The subpoena grants Bitfinex the authority to depose and obtain documents from Rondell “Rhon” Clyde Monroe, the former vice president of TCA Investment Bancorp and Trust Company. According to a filing dated November 15, Crypto Capital holds more than $306 million of Bitfinex’s funds in a bank run by TCA, Global Trading Solutions.
According to Monroe's attorney, Monroe was merely a witness in the case and was never charged. The attorney said that Monroe
did have contact with GTS, who was the company’s client, but had nothing to do with Bitfinex or any other entities mentioned.
The Court wrote: “[Bitfinex alleges] that the requested records will help ‘demonstrate [Applicant’s] ownership of, and entitlement to, the various funds...by helping Applicant trace the funds ‘between and among various banks’ that Crypto Capital used.”
At the same time, Bitfinex is wrapped up in an investigation with the New York Attorney General, which is investigating it in connection with its closely-related company, Tether. The NYAG is looking into claims that the supposedly one-to-one US dollar-backed stablecoin, tether, isn’t one-to-one backed at all.