Binance filed a lawsuit in New Jersey against Forbes Media and two of its journalists, Michael del Castillo and Jason Brettand claims that an article was published under the title “Tai Chi leaked document reveals Binance’s devised plan to bypass Bitcoin regulators was defamatory”. Binance is demanding damages and punitive damages.
The article that appeared on the Forbes website on October 29, 2020 reported that the “Tai Chi” document contained details of a system “intentionally designed to mislead regulators in the United States”. According to Forbes, the document outlined a plan to channel revenue from a U.S. company to Binance while isolating the company from U.S. law enforcement.
The appeal filed in the U.S. District Court of New Jersey on November 18, 2020 Binance explains: “The story contains numerous false, misleading and defamatory statements about Binance.”. This is further alleged in the complaint The company did not produce the Tai Chi document and never implemented the scheme described in it. Binance also claims that Harry Zhou, apparently the author of the document, never worked for the company.
This is pointed out in Binance’s complaint The company sent a letter to the defendants asking for removal, withdrawal and an apology. The article stays in place, and an editor’s note in the text says so “Chief Compliance Officer Lim had previously emailed Forbes that Zhou was a Binance employee.”. In its complaint, Binance added this claim to a list of “false, misleading and defamatory statements”.
The obstacle to successful defamation suits against journalists and media organizations is high. Plaintiffs generally need to demonstrate that the accused acted with “reckless disregard for the truth” or actual malice (knowing that the statements made were false). Another element of a successful libel suit is often the “financial loss” In the complaint, Binance alleged that it suffered property damage “in the millions” as a result of the article being published, which it hopes to prove in court.
The Binance CEO, Changpeng Zhao, previously threatened with Sue to the block, a news agency about cryptocurrencies.
Cointelegraph approached Binance, Forbes Media, and Michael del Castillo for comment.