Beleaguered crypto business Digital Currency Group (DCG) has hired top white collar defense lawyer Barry Berke, according to reports.
Bloomberg first reported on Wednesday that Berke will defend the DCG against a civil lawsuit from New York Attorney General Letitia James filed last month.
“This misguided and meritless lawsuit proves the adage that ‘no good deed goes unpunished,'” Berke said in a press release. “It completely disregards and distorts DCG’s good-faith efforts to support its subsidiary, their clients, and the overall industry.
Berke is co-chair of the white-collar defense and SEC regulatory practice at Kramer Levin Naftaliz & Frankel. He has worked on high-profile cases including building the framework to impeach former president Donald Trump.
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Meanwhile, in the same press release, DCG founder and CEO Barry Silbert said he was confident that Berke’s experience would be a big help in the company’s “steadfast commitment to fight these baseless accusations made against us.”
With around 200 companies in its portfolio, including the Grayscale, the firm behind the Grayscale Bitcoin Trust, DCG is one of the biggest players in the crypto industry.
But it has been embroiled in legal troubles since last year when the entire industry went upside down following the collapse of digital asset project Terra and crypto exchange megabrand FTX’s bankruptcy.
Last month, the New York Attorney General’s office hit DCG, its subsidiary Genesis Global Capital, and crypto exchange Gemini Trust, with a lawsuit. It alleges the companies defrauded customers of $1.1 billion.
The three “cryptocurrency companies lied to investors and tried to hide more than a billion dollars in losses, and it was middle-class investors who suffered as a result,” the lawsuit further alleges.
DCG’s other troubles include the collapse of Genesis Global, its digital asset lender, which after going bankrupt, announced it would cease all operations last month.