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A Mexican federal court told Tijuana Mayor Juan Manuel Gastelum not to spread negative messages about migrants. He’s appealing.
CNN.com – RSS Channel – Regions – Americas
A German man who repeatedly drove into crowds and injured eight people in apparent intentional attacks against foreigners has been ordered kept in detention pending possible charges, police said Wednesday.
When Eliud Montoya’s mother arrived at the scene of the tree-service worker’s murder, “without hesitation, she advised his boss killed him,” according to an affidavit. Prosecutors say she’s essentially right. “They are always watching me because of a complaint I [filed] on ways they let the Foreman treat [his] employees,…
A man who illegally demolished a San Francisco house designed by modernist architect Richard Neutra was ordered this week to rebuild it exactly as it was, reports the AP . The city Planning Commission also ordered Ross Johnston to add a sidewalk plaque telling the entire saga of the house’s origins…
Porn star Stormy Daniels must pay President Donald Trump nearly $ 293,000 for his attorneys’ fees and another $ 1,000 in sanctions after her defamation suit against him was dismissed, a federal judge in Los Angeles ordered Tuesday. Trump’s attorney, Charles Harder, had requested nearly $ 390,000 in fees, but…
Republican senators reacted with outrage Tuesday after leaving a classified briefing about the murder of Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi, promising swift action to confront both Saudi Arabia and the White House’s timid response to the killing.
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A court in Switzerland has ordered the closure of bitcoin mining startup Envion AG over concerns of poor corporate governance. The company raised $ 100 million in an initial coin offering (ICO) in January, but a succession of boardroom wrangles have led to a breakdown in its corporate structure, bringing operations to a halt.
Founding Partners Sue Each Other
Founding partners Michael Luckow and Matthias Woestmann have repeatedly gone to court to sue each other over allegations of subterfuge, which supposedly took place at the time of the ICO or immediately after, according to a Handelsblatt Global report on Nov. 28.
Among other things, Woestmann, who has since resigned as board chairman, “accused Luckow of manufacturing more coins than agreed on, so he engineered a capital increase that diluted Luckow’s share,” the paper alleged.
In the capital increase, Woestmann allegedly issued actual shares, rather than tokens, effectively diluting the 81 percent stake of Luckow and his partners to 31 percent.
Now, the cantonal court in Zug — Switzerland’s cryptocurrency haven — has ordered Envion to shut down, citing its lack of a functional board of directors and “the complete lack of any auditing function.” The company is to be liquidated, the court ruled.
The article quoted a Zurich-based lawyer, Urs Schenker, as saying that Envion would likely go under. Schenker said liquidation was “unavoidable” because the financial regulator appeared to have reached a decision to investigate the cryptocurrency miner.
The Lure of Riches
Envion raised about $ 100 million in an ICO that attracted 30,000 investors between December 2017 and January 2018, when the cryptocurrency gold rush was at its peak. Investors paid $ 1 for each token in the offer, lured by the promise of over 160 percent growth and Envion’s low-cost approach to mining, using renewable energy. Today, the token is worth just $ 0.05, reports say.
However, relations between the founders went sour after the ICO, with accusations of cheating, causing operations at the company to come to a standstill. Handelsblatt Global reports that both Luckow and Woestmann are now under investigation by regulators in Switzerland and Germany.
It turned out that Envion’s finances and operations were being run from Berlin by Luckow’s company, Trado, even though the startup was registered in Switzerland. “Woestmann continues to blame Luckow, accusing him of not providing information about the ICOs. Luckow says Woestmann always planned to push the firm into liquidation, but he will fight it and believes the original concept can still work,” the article said.
The Zug court ruling is not final, as either party can still appeal the decision. In the meantime, all that investors can do is wait and hope for the best, as failed ICOs have already cost investors billions of dollars in losses throughout the world.
What do you think about the counter lawsuits at Envion? Let us know in the comments section below.
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A federal judge has ordered former Trump campaign foreign policy adviser George Papadopoulos to report to prison as scheduled, rejecting his last-minute bid to delay his two-week sentence. Papadopoulos is to begin serving his sentence Monday, the AP reports. He was sentenced in September for lying to the FBI in…
It’s not exactly a surprising conclusion, but it lends credence to the whispers—the CIA believes with “high confidence” that Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman was the one who put the hit out on Jamal Khashoggi , sources tell the Washington Post and New York Times . The Times notes two…
A Brazilian court has ordered the reopening of cryptocurrency exchange Bitcoin Max’s bank accounts, which were closed without explanation by Banco do Brasil and Banco Santander in September. The two banks have reportedly reactivated the accounts to avoid paying fines.
Threat of Fine Forces Banco Do Brasil and Banco Santander to Reactivate Exchange’s Accounts
According to local news site Portal do Bitcoin, Brazil’s Federal District Court promised to slap Santander with a fine of 5,000 real ($ 1,350) and Banco do Brasil with 20,000 real ($ 5,400) should both fail to comply with the preliminary judgement. Leonardo Ranna, a lawyer representing Bitcoin Max, said that all of the exchange’s accounts “have been restored, including those of exchange partners.”
In September, the Administrative Council for Economic Defense (CADE), a transparency and competition body, started to investigate six of Brazil’s biggest banks after they closed accounts belonging to digital currency exchanges without explanation and refused to discuss the decision. The probe centred around allegations of “monopolistic practices … that could be limiting the action of brokers” within the cryptocurrency industry.
Results of the investigation are not yet known. The ruling against Banco Santander may only be temporary, however. The bank only complied on account of a “kind of injunction” that compelled it to reopen Bitcoin Max’s accounts within five days, Portal do Bitcoin reported. The injunction had been previously denied by a judge at a lower court, forcing the exchange’s lawyers to appeal to the Federal District Court.
The latest ruling by Ana Catarino, a judge with the higher court, was based on Banco Santander’s unilateral decision to close the exchange’s accounts without explanation, something that the court described as “abusive conduct that is prohibited by consumer protection rules.”
When Banco do Brasil shut down Bitcoin Max’s account, about $ 32,400 of the exchange’s money was stored in it. The exchange filed a lawsuit against the bank on Sept. 12. An injunction was turned down initially but a Federal District Court judge later gave the bank a 24-hour ultimatum to reactivate Bitcoin Max’s accounts or face a fine of about $ 540 a day.
Arbitrary Bank Account Closures
Adriano Zanella, chief executive officer of Bitcoin Max, said they were never made aware of the account closures and that he learned of the blockage via the manager of an agency. During the investigation by CADE, the transparency body accused major banks of “imposing restrictions or even prohibiting access to the financial system by cryptocurrency brokerages.” The banks denied the charge, saying accounts were closed as a security measure to prevent money laundering. Some of the banks under investigation include Banco Santander Brasil SA, Banco Bradesco SA, Banco do Brasil SA, Itau Unibanco Holding SA and Banco Inter and Sicredi.
Brazil is a hive of cryptocurrency activity in Latin America. The number of people trading bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies has soared from less than 100,000 two years ago to about 1.4 million today. More than $ 2.4 billion worth of BTC was traded in the country last year, up from just $ 160 million in 2016.
In January, Brazil’s Securities and Exchange Commission stopped local investment funds from buying digital coins because “cryptocurrencies cannot be qualified financial assets.” The commission, however, made a U-turn immediately after, allowing for indirect ownership, meaning Brazilians could buy into crypto-related investment funds. Even politicians in the country are talking about bitcoin; a candidate in the recent presidential election campaigned for formally legalizing bitcoin.
What do you think about the relationship between virtual currency exchanges and legacy financial institutions? Let us know in the comments section below.
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