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Tether Shareholder Sues Wall Street Journal for Defamation 

Last Updated March 4, 2024 1:57 PM
Shraddha Sharma
Last Updated March 4, 2024 1:57 PM
By Shraddha Sharma
Verified by Peter Henn

Key Takeaways

  • Christopher Harborne and AML Global Ltd. take legal action against The Wall Street Journal for a 2023 article.
  • The Wall Street Journal edited the contentious article to remove references to Harborne and AML.
  • Tether’s CTO Paolo Ardoino has often criticized The Wall Street Journal for spreading “misinformation and inaccuracies.”
  • Tether’s circulating supply nears a historic 100 billion amid new allegations.

Tether shareholder Christopher Harborne and his company, AML Global Ltd., filed a lawsuit against The Wall Street Journal parent company, Dow Jones & Co, Inc. on February 28.

The lawsuit arises from a March 2023 article that accused them of fraud and money laundering that were considered defamatory by the defendants. 

The WSJ later, allegedly,  partially edited the allegations from the article after it had been published.

The Lawsuit Claims

Harborne, a businessman with a diverse portfolio including technology investments, alongside AML Global Ltd., has filed a defamation lawsuit .

The article accused companies behind the crypto exchange Bitfinex of using dubious means to access the global banking system. Moreover, specific paragraphs pointed fingers at Harborne and AML. The article referenced shell companies and false documents used by the people behind Bitfinex. Harborne reportedly has a 12% minority share in the exchange without any managerial powers. Harborne is also a known Conservative Party donor in the UK who backed former Prime Minister Boris Johnson.

Some sections about the defendants were, they claim, edited a few days before the lawsuit was filed. A fresh WSJ article alleges that some China-based players are laundering money via Tether.

Tether CTO Called WSJ a ‘Circus’

Paolo Ardoino, the Chief Technology Officer of Tether, took to X (formerly Twitter) in 2023 to denounce The Wall Street Journal’s coverage. Ardoino labeled it as filled with “misinformation and inaccuracies.”

WSJ previously ran an article that claimed  consolidated holdings in Tether. Another published article claimed that companies behind Tether “used falsified documents and shell companies to get bank accounts.”

But, the lawsuit comes at a time when Tether’s influence in the cryptocurrency market has become substantial despite the previous setbacks. Also, Tether is nearing a circulating supply of $100 billion at the time of writing (March 4 2024).

Tether Circulating Supply
Tether Circulating Supply | Source: CoinMarketCap

Based on previous reports , Harborne holds a 13% ownership in Tether.

Media and Lawsuits

The defamation lawsuit by Christopher Harborne and AML Global Ltd. against The Wall Street Journal reflects the tension between media reporting and the cryptocurrency industry.

WSJ was previously called out by the crypto community over investigative allegations it levered against Tether.

As the legal proceedings unfold, new cases can show the importance of accuracy and accountability in not only media coverage, but also the crypto businesses.

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