Rumours that Hong-Kong-based crypto exchange Bitfinex is involved in a legal investigation in the US are circulating after a Freedom of Information (FOI) request on the company was refused.
A request for information regarding Bitfinex’s parent company iFinex Inc and its subsidiaries, alongside Tether Holdings Limited, was denied by the Department of Justice (DOJ) citing Exemption 7(A) of the FOI Guide.
The individual who filed the FOI request in February 2022 took to Twitter to voice his opinion on Bitfinex on Wednesday, August 10.
“Looks like #Bitfinex is in legal proceedings in the US – the DOJ denied my FOIA request on grounds of Section b(7)(A) aimed at preventing pretrial publicity that could impair a court proceeding”, he wrote.
The user also added a screenshot of his denied request.
The original request itself asked: “Dear Sirs, Pursuant to Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. § 552, I am hereby requesting any and all information in the possession of the US Department of Justice on jointly and severally TETHER HOLDINGS LIMITED, TETHER LIMITED, TETHER INTERNATIONAL LIMITED, TETHER OPERATIONS LIMITED, IFINEX INC., BFXNA INC., and BFXWW INC.”
According to the Freedom of Information Act Guide, May 2004 Exemption 7(A) may be “invoked so long as the law enforcement proceeding involved remains pending, or so long as an enforcement proceeding is fairly regarded as prospective, or as preventative.”
It also authorizes the “withholding of records or information compiled for law enforcement purposes, but only to the extent that production of such law enforcement records or information … could reasonably be expected to interfere with enforcement proceedings.”
Many investigations into Bitfinex have occurred surrounding criminal and civil entities in the US. One investigation focuses on the issue of whether Tether (its sister company) has been entirely truthful on the matter of its reserves.