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Ben "Bitboy" Armstrong, former host of the Bitboy Crypto YouTube channel, has been denied an emergency injunction request filed to the Cobb County Superior Court in Georgia as a part of his ongoing lawsuit against Hit Network CEO TJ Shedd and Shedd’s father, new documents filed this week revealed.
The Cobb County Clerk’s office told Decrypt that a new filing in the case shows the order as “denied,” with documents reading that “Plaintiffs failed to meet their burden” to support the case for Armstrong’s injunction against the Shedds, who are both Hit Network employees. Timothy Shedd Sr. is the CFO at Hit Network.
Armstrong, the prominent crypto personality who previously drove a Lamborghini and wore Gucci-branded tracksuits, is now raising funds for his legal defense. Fans have already donated roughly $60,000 worth of Ethereum and Bitcoin in less than 24 hours, according to Etherscan and blockchain data for two of Armstrong’s crypto wallets.
Thank you guys so much for the donations so far. I know it’s hard out there for people and I’m so appreciative that you guys have chosen to help me.
Truly humbled by everyone.
— Ben Armstrong (@BenArmstrongsX) September 20, 2023
Armstrong had initially filed the suit against the Shedds on August 30, but withdrew it one day later. The Shedds then filed their own suit against Armstrong last week on September 11. Armstrong refiled his suit against the Shedds on September 12, and a hearing at the Cobb County Superior Court took place on September 14. While Armstrong has not been granted temporary relief, the lawsuits are ongoing.
Armstrong’s complaint against the Shedds sought an injunction that would force them to return control of the company, including access to its email, social media, and financial accounts. Multiple legal filings state that Armstrong owns 67% of the company he has been removed from.
In the court hearing last week, Armstrong’s attorney James Merritt alleged that the Shedds “violated Georgia law” by removing Armstrong from the company, arguing that the situation was akin to the “employee stealing the company from the boss.”
Merritt argued that Armstrong and Shedd have “never been equal partners” at the company, and wrote off the allegations that Armstrong had physically assaulted Shedd as “water cooler rumors” that were being used to “muddy the waters” in the case.
Merritt also claimed that since Armstrong’s removal, the company has “lost over $1 million” in revenue as well as “tens of thousands of subscribers.”
According to SocialBlade data, Armstrong’s former Bitboy YouTube channel—which has since been rebranded to “Discover Crypto”—has lost roughly 20,000 subscribers in the past month. Specifically, the channel lost 10,000 subscribers on August 30, the day of Armstrong’s first complaint, and again on September 12, the day the Shedds filed their complaint.
The Shedds’ attorney, George Koenig, announced at the hearing that the company is “in divorce mode” and is looking for a buyout.
“It’s beyond repair,” Koenig said of the relationship between Armstrong and the Shedds, alleging that Armstrong did commit physical assault and also “feigned weird sexual things with people.”
The Shedds’ complaint filed against Armstrong alleges that Armstrong was “physically attacking” employees at the Hit Network offices by “groping, grabbing, punching, pulling, thrusting, tackling, placing hands on, bending over, [and] throwing filled bottles of protein shake at” employees, and committing other acts that were “lewd,” “obscene,” and “humiliating.”
Armstrong has previously denied the allegations of physical assault against Shedd. Armstrong told Decrypt that the rest of the physical allegations were “made up” in an effort to attack his character.
The Shedds’ filing alleges that Armstrong sent varying sums of money “as large as $50,000 per month” for non-business purposes to an independent contractor employed by the media company “with whom Armstrong was having an inappropriate relationship.”
But Armstrong told Decrypt in a message that such funds were actually sent to marketing contractor Cassandra Wolfe as part of her 5% commission for securing the company's $15 million sponsorship deal with crypto gambling firm Stake.
“They wanted a witch hunt against her because she saved everyone's jobs,” Armstrong told Decrypt. “Without the Stake deal, most people at the company were heading toward getting laid off.”
Koenig said at the hearing that Hit Network has hired a full-time security guard to monitor its office building, and that the Shedds have requested an ex parte temporary restraining order against Armstrong. Merritt also requested an ex parte temporary restraining order against the Shedds on behalf of Armstrong.
According to an Acworth Police Department report obtained by Decrypt, Shedd told the police on August 21 he was “concerned for his safety” as he planned to remove Armstrong from the company because of “misuse and possibly criminal use of company funds.”
Shedd also told police that Armstrong “created a hostile work environment” and reiterated the assault allegation, explaining that it occurred after it was revealed that Armstrong committed adultery, according to the report.
The Acworth Police told Shedd that it would add the Hit Network offices to its area of “zone patrol” for a few weeks. The Shedds’ injunction request for a restraining order has not yet been heard by a judge, a Hit Network employee familiar with the matter confirmed to Decrypt.
The employee also said that Hit Network purchased the Lamborghini as a business asset and is now looking to sell it to “recoup funds” that Armstrong allegedly “stole” from the company.
The Shedds’ legal filing alleges that Armstrong committed “theft and/or mishandling of company assets,” citing an example of a Bored Ape Yacht Club NFT that Armstrong reportedly used to obtain “personal loans of cryptocurrency” worth $176,698.10. When a loan was not repaid, the company lost the NFT—which was valued around $107,000 at the time, according to the filing.
The filing also alleges that Armstrong took seven loans totaling $119,415.08 on a Mutant Ape Yacht Club NFT, ultimately resulting in the loss of the NFT which was worth roughly $13,000 at the time.
Armstrong also allegedly transferred “other NFTs” from the company’s crypto wallets to his own personal wallets, and transferred over $40,000 worth of USDT stablecoin from company wallets to one of his personal crypto wallets and then to a wallet held by Stake, according to the Shedds’ lawsuit against Armstrong.
In response to these claims, Armstrong told Decrypt that the NFTs in question belonged to him and that the company’s employees were aware of that.
“They said multiple times they were mine because the company was mine,” Armstrong told Decrypt in a message. “These were all conversations that took place. But they were never documented.” He added that no one at the company ever raised concerns with him regarding the NFT loans, and no one told him he wasn’t allowed to take out loans on the assets.
Armstrong also claimed to Decrypt that the USDT funds in question “were sent right to the company.”
“They don't know where it is because they have no idea what they are doing with the books. This is the result of a minority business partner hiring his own father to be the CFO, even though he has no financial background or experience,” Armstrong said, alleging that Shedd Sr. was the reason the company lost $3 million on the now-defunct Celsius platform.
In a Wednesday livestream on his new YouTube channel, Armstrong said that he has filed a police report due to a threatening text message he allegedly received. Decrypt has made contact with the appropriate authorities in an effort to obtain a copy of the report.
“There is constant lies and betrayal going on,” Armstrong said.
Armstrong’s wife, Bethany Armstrong, also appeared on the Wednesday livestream and expressed that she is concerned for her family’s safety, calling the experience “horrific.”