Bitcoin Daily: Former Finance VP Embezzled Millions For Crypto Poker; Bitfinex, Tether Sued For Bitcoin Market Manipulation

Bitcoin Daily: BankLine Aids Crypto Banking

A former executive at StyleHaul has pleaded guilty to embezzling millions from his former employer.

Dennis Blieden pleaded guilty to federal criminal charges for embezzling more than $22 million from StyleHaul and then using the stolen money to expense his lifestyle, as well as to participate in crypto-currency gambling. As part of his job, Blieden had control over the company’s bank accounts, and would wire company money to his personal bank account.

Blieden is due to be sentenced on March 20, where he will face a statutory maximum sentence of 22 years in federal prison, according to the U.S. Department of Justice.

In other news, crypto exchange Bitfinex and its sister firm, stablecoin issuer Tether, have been accused again of manipulating the bitcoin markets.

The latest class-action suit, filed by Eric Young and Adam Kurtz at the district court in the Western District of Washington on Nov. 22, says that both companies “monopolized and conspired to monopolize the Bitcoin market.”

“Defendants’ control of USD₮ issuances and Bitfinex permitted Defendants and their co-conspirators to coordinate purchases and sales with rising and falling Bitcoin prices. When Bitcoin prices were falling, Defendants and their co-conspirators printed USD₮s and artificially increased the price of Bitcoin. Once Defendants and their co-conspirators artificially inflated the price of Bitcoin, Defendants and their co-conspirators then converted the Bitcoin back into USD₮s to replenish Tether’s reserves,” the suit states.

And in a new report led by the Chinese central bank, five financial and technology authorities detail some of the illegal and fraudulent schemes in the blockchain industry, including attempts to issue their own cryptocurrencies. In fact, around 89 percent of blockchain firms in the country have possibly tried to create and issue their own tokens.

“We need to make sure the blockchain firms that illegally raise funds and commit financial frauds are not included in the government blockchain support programs,” said Yedong Zhu, president of the government-backed nonprofit Beijing Blockchain Application Association.