A New York Judge has ordered that law firm Roche Freedman step down as lead counsel in a class action lawsuit against USDT Issuer Tether and its sister firm Bitfinex.
The lawsuit sought $1 trillion in damages for the plaintiffs over alleged market manipulation by the digital asset firm.
Thursday’s decision follows controversial posts from whistleblower website Crypto Leaks involving the law firm’s founding partner Kyle Roche.
The videos posted by Crypto Leaks suggest that Roche engaged in unprofessional practices across multiple class action lawsuits involving other crypto companies like Binance.US, Solana Labs, and The Tron Foundation.
Katherine Polk Failla, a U.S. Judge presiding over a class action lawsuit against Tether and Bitfinex, has dismissed Roche Freedman from representing plaintiffs during the proceedings. The lawsuit alleges that the USDT issuer engaged in market manipulation and sought $1 trillion in damages, per reports.
Bloomberg reported Judge Failla dismissed Roche Freedman following controversial leaks involving the firm’s founding partner and crypto lawyer Kyle Roche. The videos were posted by a whistleblower website called Crypto Leaks in August, alleging that Roche leveraged lawsuits against digital asset companies to access private information.
The posts suggest that Roche’s lawsuits deliberately targeted competitors of Ava Labs, a startup with ties to the legal firm. Roche denied the claims and also filed a motion to disassociate himself from proceedings.
Tether and crypto exchange Bitfinex also asked the court to completely sever Roche Freedman’s ties to the case.
Notably, Roche has a history of filing and withdrawing from class-action lawsuits against crypto-related organizations, including cases against Justin Sun’s Tron Foundation, Solana Labs, and Binance.US to name a few.
Judge Failla’s decision on Thursday granted Tether’s request. The New York judge said that the “metaphorical baggage” Roche’s firm carries could interfere with the case. In response, Tether applauded the dismissal via a tweet on Friday.
Tether Defends USDT Stablecoin
Indeed, the stablecoin issuer is no stranger to controversy surrounding its USDT token and business operations. Apart from the $1 trillion class-action lawsuit, Tether has also been accused of publishing misleading and irregular reports for the coin’s reserves.
Earlier in the year, the company had to release several rebuttals to quell rumors about its commercial paper holdings. Notably, Tether’s latest attestation reported the total elimination of commercial paper from its reserves.