While the FTX debacle was detrimental to the entire market, the industry had to deal with the downfall of a prominent crypto exchange back in 2020 as well. BitMEX was under the spotlight after American authorities slapped the exchange with several criminal charges. The exchange received backlash for failing to implement a prominent anti-money laundering [AML] procedure. Now, the platform was making noise after its former CEO Alexander Hoeptner decided to sue the exchange.
Alexander Höptner, the former CEO of BitMEX joined the firm back in January 2021. However, Höptner abruptly left the firm in October 2022. In his latest court filing, he pointed out that he was ousted from the firm after he received a letter that entailed misuse of funds, failure to execute duties other accusations. Höptner was against this termination and the allegations that followed suit.
In his filing to Singapore’s High Court, Höptner noted that BitMEX had conducted a “baseless” internal investigation. This was reportedly done in order to steer away from paying millions of dollars in salary as well as bonuses. The former BitMEX CEO claimed that the exchange owed him $3.4 million. This included $2.4 million from his second-year bonus and other wages like relocation and housing expenses.
Elaborating on the relocation expenses he said,
“I put my personal and family lives on hold in order to be on the ground managing operations in Singapore and Hong Kong. I’m disappointed that it has gotten to the point that legal proceedings are necessary, but I’ve been left with no choice.”
His migration from Hong Kong to Singapore and then to Germany was the subject of the inquiry, which found that he had misused corporate funds to pay for the movements. This is what is claimed to have led to his termination in late October.
BitMEX to defend their claim?
It should be noted that Höptner is being represented by Kelvin Chia Partnership. The lawsuit was filed in the General Division of the High Court of the Republic of Singapore. While BitMEX steered away from affirming the accusations, a spokesperson for the exchange said,
“As the matter is pending before the Singapore Court, we are unable to make any substantive comments at this stage. We will respond to the claims made by Alexander Höptner in Court (which is the appropriate forum). Needless to say, we will defend the claim vigorously.”
The date for the hearing of this case is scheduled to take place on January 25, 2023.