Crypto firms behind Tether used falsified documents to maintain banking system access - WSJ

March 3, 2023 1:36 PM EST

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According to a Wall Street Journal report on Friday, crypto firms behind Tether used falsified documents and shell companies to get bank accounts.

According to the report, documents show that in late 2018, companies behind Tether struggled to maintain access to the global banking system, resulting in some of their backers turning to "shadowy intermediaries, falsified documents, and shell companies to get back in."

In an email from Stephen Moore, one of the owners of Tether Holdings Ltd, viewed by the WSJ, one of the intermediaries, a major tether trader in China, was revealed to be trying to bypass the banking system by "providing fake sales invoices and contracts for each deposit and withdrawal."

Tether, which according to WSJ sources, has been under investigation by the US justice department, runs the $71 billion stablecoin tether, and a sister company runs Bitfinex, one of the largest crypto exchanges.

The WSJ claims Moore recommended they abandon efforts to open the accounts as it was too risky to continue using the fake sales invoices and contracts he had signed.

The publication adds that it has seen and reviewed a cache of emails and documents demonstrating a long-running effort by the crypto firms to stay connected to the financial system. If they had lost access to the banking system, it would have been "an existential threat," the companies reportedly said in a lawsuit.

Furthermore, the companies frequently hid their identities behind other businesses or individuals, which occasionally caused problems. The problems included "hundreds of millions of dollars of seized assets and connections to a designated terrorist organization," the WSJ stated.

By Sam Boughedda

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