Mt. Gox asks for postponement of Karpeles' deposition in U.S. court

Karpeles seeks to appear tentatively on May 5 before the court

By , IDG News Service |  Legal

Mt. Gox CEO Mark Karpeles, who was ordered to appear before a U.S. bankruptcy court to answer questions, has asked for a postponement of his deposition.

In an emergency motion, Karpeles seeks to appear before the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Northern District of Texas, Dallas Division, tentatively on May 5 rather than at a Thursday appearance set by the court.

The filing on Monday by the failed Bitcoin exchange cited Karpeles' need to hire a counsel in connection with a subpoena from the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) of the U.S. Department of the Treasury to appear before it and provide testimony on Friday in Washington, D.C. FinCEN has been scrutinizing virtual currencies recently.

Until such time as counsel is retained and has an opportunity to "get up to speed" and advise Karpeles on the FinCEN subpoena, "he is not willing to travel to the U.S.," according to the filing. The subpoena from FinCEN did not attach a document request and did not specify topics for discussion, it added.

The Tokyo exchange filed on March 9 for bankruptcy protection in the U.S., after filing for bankruptcy in Tokyo District Court on Feb. 28.((

The company suspended trading on Feb. 25 and said it had lost around 750,000 Bitcoins owned by customers and around 100,000 belonging to the exchange, valued at US$474 million at the time.(The exchange later said it found 200,000 bitcoins, worth about $116 million.

On March 25, Gregory D. Greene and Joseph Lack, plaintiffs in another U.S. litigation filed a motion to compel testimony by Karpeles in the bankruptcy court, which ordered his deposition in Dallas, Texas on Thursday. Greene and Lack have filed a class-action suit in Illinois, alleging that the exchange was involved in fraud and the theft of bitcoins.

Mt. Gox was non-committal on whether the process of hiring a lawyer would be complete by May 5. The exchange said in the filing that it "cannot guarantee that Mr. Karpeles will attend the deposition on May 5, 2014, either."

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