Bitfinex and Tether Accused of Illicit Acts: Investigation Reveals Deceit

• The Wall Street Journal uncovered information about alleged illicit acts of Bitfinex and Tether in 2018.
• New York banned them from operating in the state, leading to investigations into their activities by the Office of the New York State Attorney General.
• Emails revealed that they had tried to mask their identities by using other individuals or fake companies to deceive banks.


The Wall Street Journal recently reported on the alleged illicit acts committed by cryptocurrency exchange Bitfinex and its sister company Tether in 2018. This is one of many legal issues and controversies that have characterized Tether since its launch in 2014, which has included a ban from operating in New York state, as well as an investigation by the Office of the New York State Attorney General for giving out loans to investors and offering unregistered securities.

Investigation Details

The Wall Street Journal accessed emails sent back and forth between Bitfinex and Tether while investigating their activities in 2018. These emails revealed that the firms had attempted to mask their identities by using other individuals or fake companies to deceive banks. This exposed them to legal issues with regulators, resulting in the seizure of assets worth millions of dollars and connections to terrorist groups being uncovered.

Stephen Moore Caution

One email sent by Stephen Moore – one of the owners of Tether Holdings Ltd – cautioned a USDT trader attempting to use fake contracts and sales invoices in China to deceive a bank. Moore warned that using these deceptive documents was becoming increasingly risky for the firms involved.

Tether & Bitfinex Issues In 2018

Tether Holding LTD is behind USDT, a stablecoin worth over $70 billion which ranks number one among stablecoins but occupies third position among all crypto assets when it comes to market capitalization. Being a stablecoin pegged to the US dollar (USD), each USDT must be backed up with an equivalent amount of USD held in reserve – meaning for every 1 USDT out there must be 1 USD held within Federal Reserve backing it up. However, this wasn’t true according to US government investigations which revealed that there was no such backing taking place with regards to Tether’s coins in circulation. This led The Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) launching an investigation into whether any digital currency fraud was taking place at both Bitfinex and Tether Holdings Ltd..


These issues culminated in both Bitfinex and Tether facing fines totaling nearly $18 million as well as allegations related to market manipulation surrounding Bitcoin prices due mainly due their lack of transparency when dealing with banking services – all issues dating back from 2018 which are still ongoing today..