A financial institution threatens a journalist who is investigating the infamous case of QuadrigaCX after publishing an unflattering article that alleges the company of not releasing the funds of Quadriga among other things that could potentially solve the two-hundred-dollar problems that the cryptocurrency company faces. The event follows the unfortunate death of the company CEO, taking with him all of the digital assets of the company.
The financial company in question is the WB21, a payment processing company that works as a virtual bank that spread across 180 counties around the world. In one of Amy Cator’s articles, she accused the Switzerland-based firm of sitting on QuadrigaCx’s $9 million funds.
The report follows the court affidavit filed by Jennifer Robertson, the widow of the late Quadriga CEO Gerald Cotten. The testimony mentioned that WB21 was “refusing to release the funds or respond to communications from Quadriga.”
As a global virtual bank, WB21 announce in 2016 that the company was exchanging bitcoins for fiat currency. In her article, Castor alleges that WB21 was only accepting clients’ bitcoin and was outsourcing the conversion to BitPay. She also accused the Swiss company of promoting deceptive advertising, faking their cross-border payment figures, and stealing money from its customers.
“Consumer review website Trustpilot has a long list of people complaining that WB21 has taken their money and gone silent,” Castor reported in her article that is being questioned by the company.
Following the publication of the alleged defaming article, Amish Patel, the head of litigation in WB21 refuted the claims made by Castor and her findings. He clarified that WB21 only froze Quadriga’s because it is “under investigation” and said that the amount mentioned in the said affidavit was unconfirmed.
“It is incorrect to suggest that WB21 is not showing any sign of wanting to hand over those funds. The court-appointed monitor [Ernst & Young] has been informed that the account is under investigation.”
Patel also questioned the coverage made by Castor of WB21 Chief Executive Michael Gastauer. According to Castor’s report, the CEO misrepresented the selling of his previous payment business, known as the Apex Group, for $480 million. Castor claimed that there is no evidence to show that Gastauer had sold Apex, citing a report from FT.com written by Kadhim Shubber. She also mentioned how the QB21 CEO was one of the accused in a civil lawsuit filed by the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).
The said case is regarding Gastauer’s involvement where he allegedly aided and abetted the fraudulent sale of $165 million worth of shares in microcap stocks.
In an email Patel sent to the journalist, he said that these allegations against the CEO had been denied and “will be defended.” He also demanded that Castor should remove and amend the article she published; otherwise, legal actions will be taken against her. The email was posted by Castor on her Twitter account.
“WB21 sent me an email accusing me of defamation and threatening me with legal action if I did not immediately make changes to my WB21 article,” Castor wrote captioning a screenshot of Patel’s email.
Unfazed, Castor refused to amend the article and instead updated it to include Patel’s response. This move triggered Patel to demand Castor not to use his name in her coverage; with which the daring journalist replied:
“Patel then wrote me again and “prohibiting” [me] from using his name in the story.”
Castor further questioned Patel’s existence because she said that multiple searches on his identity yielded no result.
The crypto community, which has been following the updates regarding Quadriga’s case, expressed support to Castor. A notable bitcoin evangelist, Andreas Antonopolous said that companies that threaten journalists with defamation because of an unflattering coverage deserve the full ‘Streisand’ effect.
“This is a shady behavior and should not be tolerated,” he added.
The Canada-based crypto exchange company, QuadrigaCX is in the limelight in the last three months of the year following the death of their CEO. The CEO was not able to turn over necessary digital assets like passwords and encryption key that left thousands of the company’s customers short of cash for more than 150 million dollars in total. The company becomes even more notorious following suggestions of different personalities that Gerard Cotten faked his own death.