As speculation of major problems at Bitfinex and Tether ran rampant last October amidst rumors of customer withdrawal issues, Bitfinex published a notice to the market stating that there were no issues with the exchange. As customers and the public questioned the solvency of the related entities and the price of the stablecoin Tether dropped to $0.86, the company's official stance was that all was well.
However, according to the lawsuit filed today by the NY State Attorney General, Bitfinex was not forthcoming. On October 15, 2018, Bitfinex stated that ''it is important for us to clarify that: All cryptocurrency and fiat withdrawals are and have been processing as usual without the slightest interference... All fiat withdrawals are processing and have been as usual," per the lawsuit.
At the same time as the positive public statement, Bitfinex was having severe problems meeting customer withdrawal demands. In response to the troubles, a senior Bitfinex executive bluntly wrote to his external payments partner, "Please understand all this could be extremely dangerous for everybody, the entire crypto community. BTC could tank to below 1k if we don't act quickly."
Unfortunately, the alleged solution was to co-mingle customer and company funds, including those from Tether, to support Bitfinex redemptions. This activity, which wasn't disclosed by Bitfinex, is now being pursued as "fraud" by one of the top lawyers in the State of New York.