More defendants dismissed from BitConnect class-action
The BitConnect class-action isn’t going to well, following dismissal of the second amended complaint and several defendants.
The November 20th order strikes the remainder of the second amended complaint, which was filed on September 13th.
Defendants Glenn Arcaro and Ryan Maasen were dismissed from the case back in September.
Judge Middlebrooks has also now dismissed defendants Joshua Jeppesen, Craig Grant, Nicholoa Trovato (aka CryptoNick), owing to failure of service.
It was argued that Jeppesen, Grant and Trovato ‘are believed to have fled their homes to escape criminal prosecution’, however this did not sway the court.
Under the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, plaintiffs have ninety days to serve defendants. Filing an amended complaint does not reset the ninety day counter.
The remainder of the defendants in the BitConnect class-action are mostly foreign defendants.
Plaintiffs have been given until December 5th to file a third-amended complaint, with strict instructions it is ‘shall not include any additional parties and/or allegations’.
Personally I’m not a fan of parallel civil lawsuits when it comes to MLM scams we know are under investigation.
That said the amount of time that has passed since we became aware BitConnect and its promoters were under investigation is taxing.
I anticipate the BitConnect class-action being abandoned entirely at some point.
Whether US regulators ever get around to holding the scammers behind BitConnect accountable remains to be seen.
Update 6th January 2020 – On December 20th a request to serve defendants alternatively was denied.
The same day several more defendants were also dismissed from the case; Calen Powell (Crypto Clover), Thomas Allan Atherton and Jean-Simon Labreche.
Next Judge Middlebrooks is looking to dismiss Trevon James, Ryan Hildreth and Tanner Fox.
A third entry on the December 20th case docket orders the Plaintiffs to show cause in opposition to the dismissals.
A response was filed on December 30th, reiterating
each of these defendants are responsible for having caused damage to Plaintiffs and the putative class of investors in BitConnect securities — investments that were sold in violation of federal securities laws.
Prematurely dismissing these defendants from this action sua sponte — even when one of the defendants has admitted the truthfulness of the allegations against him — would unjustifiably deny Plaintiffs their ability to pursue their claims for relief against these defendants.
At the time of publication, a decision on the motion remains pending.