On the off chance that the Magic: The Gathering Online Exchange or CEO Mark Karpelès have any assets, real or imagined, in the U.S., the guy suing them—you know, over the small problem it’s had, re: losing all of the bitcoins it was supposed to be keeping tabs on—would like those assets to stay put, whatever that might mean.
Customers of Mt. Gox are trying to freeze assets in the United States of the bankrupt Bitcoin exchange and its chief executive, Mark Karpeles.
There’s just one problem: They don’t know where those assets are.
Plaintiffs in a class-action lawsuit filed a motion on Tuesday seeking a temporary injunction to keep Mr. Karpeles or his company from moving any money outside of the United States. They also want a full accounting of any assets Mt. Gox has left….
“The idea that they have no money is not credible,” said Jay Edelson, a lawyer for the plaintiffs. “They were taking deposits up until the day before they shut down.”
It seems probable that such “money,” in whatever form or amount it might exist, is more likely to be found in Japan, where Karpelès and co. had an account with one very, very unhappy bank.
Mizuho handled transactions in cash between Mt. Gox and customers who were buying bitcoins from the exchange or selling bitcoins to it for cash. The vast majority were outside Japan, requiring numerous international wire transfers.
Mizuho started having concerns about Mt. Gox’s large volumes of money transfers after learning U.S. authorities were investigating whether business dealings involving bitcoin could be linked to money laundering, said one person close to the situation….
On the tape, the Mizuho official can be heard saying, “As we’ve been saying many times, we want to close your account.”
Mr. Karpelès responds: “I discussed with my lawyers and they said we don’t need to close it, so we’d like to keep it.”
The bank official then says that while it would like Mt. Gox to close its account voluntarily, “the chance isn’t zero that we will leave you no choice….”
Japanese banks can close accounts only under certain conditions. In the taped conversation, the Mizuho official didn’t indicate any specific concern about Mt. Gox’s compliance with bank rules. When Mr. Karpelès asked why the bank wanted to close the account, the Mizuho official cited “a collection of various issues.”
Plaintiffs in Suit Seek to Freeze Mt. Gox’s U.S. Assets [DealBook]
Recording Shows Mizuho Pushed to End Dealings With Mt. Gox [WSJ]