Tether’s Banking Partner Britannia Financial Faces Legal Battle Over $1 Billion Deposit
The largest stablecoin issuer in the world, Tether (USDT), is facing a legal dispute involving its banking partner, Britannia Financial. The dispute involves a $1 billion Tether deposit with a subsidiary of Britannia Financial Group.
According to a recent Financial Times report and court filings in the High Court of Justice in London, Tether’s decision to place funds with Britannia Financial, founded by Venezuelan-Italian banker Julio Herrera Velutini, comes amid allegations of bribery against Herrera Velutini by US authorities. Although Britannia Financial has not been accused of any wrongdoing, the legal battle has raised questions about the stability of the stablecoin market and its regulatory landscape.
Regulatory Scrutiny and Legal Disputes
Tether itself has faced regulatory scrutiny in the past, with allegations from the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) and investigations by the New York attorney-general. The company has also faced challenges in accessing banking services worldwide.
Arbitral International has filed a claim alleging that Britannia Financial failed to pay the full price for a brokerage it sold to the group. The agreement between the parties included additional payments based on revenue-generating assets held by the business a year after the sale. Arbitral claims that Tether’s deposit falls within this period, entitling them to additional compensation, while Britannia Financial argues that the company deposited funds with its London-based subsidiary, Britannia Global Markets, rather than the brokerage in question.
Britannia Financial’s Ties To Tether Revealed
Britannia Financial was introduced to Tether by Aldo Mazzella, a “professional introducer” believed to have had a commercial relationship with the crypto firm since approximately 2017. The decision to keep its assets in the UK rather than the Bahamas, where Britannia Financial acquired a bank called Britannia Bank & Trust, is highlighted in court filings. Julio Herrera Velutini, founder of Britannia Financial, has donated significantly to the UK’s Conservative party and sponsored events commemorating Queen Elizabeth II’s jubilee.
The outcome of this litigation may impact Tether’s reputation, the stability of the stablecoin market, and the broader regulatory landscape surrounding digital assets, and it remains to be seen how this legal battle will unfold.
Source: Financial Times Report
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