A US user claims that his attempts to withdraw funds have been ignored. This is a new case against the exchange house after the lawsuit filed in Argentina.
Two complaints against the cryptocurrency exchange Bitinka and its CEO Roger Benites were filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the Internet Crimes Complaint Center (attached to the FBI) in the United States.
A user from that country claims that his attempts to withdraw the funds that he keeps on this platform have been ignored, according to a request made on October 30th.
In both documents, software developer Anthony Lewandowski explains that, since last February, he has had difficulties to get access to his cryptocurrencies and has not obtained a favorable response from the company.
Lewandowski explained that on February 21st, he deposited 31,011 DAI, equivalent to about USD 31,011. The transfer method was the DAI blockchain using the Bitinka website deposit mechanism. Then he used Bitinka services to withdraw USD 11,371; however, the rest of the cryptocurrencies that he kept on the platform, consisting of 3.97278026 BTC and 5.79089118 MKR, remain in the exchange.
The user estimates that the total losses generated by the retention of his funds is around USD 40 thousand and set a precedent with the lawsuit against Bitinka, filed last February in Argentina, in which two local users demand that USD 417 thousand be returned.
Once it was known that the complaints had been filed, the company responded that it had not received any notification and was unaware of these cases.
The startup stated through an e-mail that they need more information about the complaint. They said that they have not accepted more American users for a very long time. They added that it may be a complaint but not a denunciation, as this should consist of notifications to both parties.
In a second message, Bitinka assured that one of its departments was already managing actions to discover which user had the problem and requested more details about these causes.
The e-mail stated that the compliance department has already been informed so they can locate the aforementioned user. They consider that their cooperation would help users provide them with information, thus helping solve their problems.
Attorney Camilo Jorajuría de León, who filed the complaints with both organizations, indicated that the SEC files between 400 and 500 civil cases against people and companies that break the law every year, which translates into potential fines and the closure of operations of the aforementioned companies.
The lawyer explained that the complaints are part of the strategy to advance on multiple fronts and try to recover users’ assets and mentioned the lawsuit that is in progress in Argentina. Another aspect highlighted by Jorajuría is that these types of actions are conducted to cleanse the cryptocurrency ecosystem.
The Bitinka payment processor was already closed in Argentina and, now in the United States, progress is being made from an administrative and criminal law point of view. Jorajuría promised that he will continue promoting claims in all jurisdictions that are necessary until the person responsible is judged, the company is liquidated and the funds owed to users are reimbursed.
The accusations against Bitinka began in October 2018 when a group of users requested clarification about the status of their funds as they could not operate with them.
At that time, Bitinka indicated that users could not claim assets that did not belong to them, since the platform had some technical problems and the operators’ balance sheets were restored to their “real state”. Consequently, any recorded profit was eliminated unilaterally and the accounts returned to their original balance. According to several users other accounts were blocked.
The relationship between the company and its users has involved the courts, the seizure of bank accounts, and now the filing of complaints in the United States, which further worsens the tone of the conflict and its international implications.
By Willmen Blanco