United States-based cryptocurrency exchange Gemini has announced legal action against the conglomerate Digital Currency Group (DCG) and its CEO, Barry Silbert, claiming “fraud against creditors.”
In a July 7 filing in a New York court, Gemini alleged DCG and Silbert engaged in a scheme involving lending “huge amounts of cryptocurrency and U.S. dollars” to Genesis. According to the filing, Gemini seeks to recover funds incurred as a result of “DCG’s and Silbert’s false, misleading, and incomplete representations and omissions to Gemini” and their role “in encouraging and facilitating Genesis’s fraud against Gemini,” adding the firm would also pursue legal avenues in Genesis’ bankruptcy case.
Genesis, a DCG subsidiary, had been the crypto lender responsible for operating an Earn program in partnership with Gemini, which launched in 2021. The program claimed Gemini users could loan crypto to Genesis with the promise the firm would repay it with interest. However, the firm halted withdrawals in November 2022, citing “unprecedented market turmoil” and subsequently filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy.
According to a July 7 Twitter thread from Gemini co-founder Cameron Winklevoss, Silbert knew Genesis was “massively insolvent” when attempting to continue the Earn program. The complaint included alleged false financial reporting from DCG and Silbert starting with the collapse of Three Arrows Capital in June 2022, which “blew a $1.2 billion hole in Genesis’s balance sheet.” Winklevoss has claimed that Genesis and DCG owe $900 million to Gemini’s clients.
“Barry, DCG, and Genesis all conspired to create false financial reports to hide the truth from Gemini and creditors,” claimed Winklevoss. “This fraud goes to the very top. Barry Silbert and other DCG executives were directly involved in these lies and they lied again and again to conceal the truth from Gemini and other creditors.”
1/ Today, @Gemini filed a lawsuit against @DCGco and @BarrySilbert personally in New York court. Barry was not only the architect and mastermind of the DCG and Genesis fraud against creditors, he was directly and personally involved in perpetrating it.— Cameron Winklevoss (@cameron) July 7, 2023
Winklevoss had made repeated threats to sue DCG and Silbert over delays in resolving the issues between Gemini and Genesis, most recently issuing an open letter to the CEO proposing a “best and final offer” of $1.47 billion by 2028. In a July 7 response on Twitter, DCG said the lawsuit was a “publicity stunt” by Winklevoss and any claims of wrongdoing were “baseless, defamatory, and completely false.”
The fallout of the Earn program made both Genesis and Gemini targets of federal and state regulators. The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission filed a suit against the two firms in January for allegedly offering unregistered securities, and New York’s Department of Financial Services was reportedly investigating Gemini over claims in its Earn program.
Update (July 7 at 4:44 PM UTC): This article has been updated to include a statement from DCG.