Judge Indicates A Lukewarm Stance In CFTC’s Case Against Crypto Fraudster
Although the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) is finalizing its lawsuit against Patrick McDonnell, the court proceedings in New York posed a significant challenge. McDonnell is the proprietor of CabbageTech and is currently facing charges for committing fraud in the crypto sector. According to the charge sheet, the CFTC wants the court to issue a permanent injunction against the businessman who has reportedly swindled over $500,000 from cryptocurrency investors.
Since the case was filed in January, there have been several developments regarding legal aspects related to the lawsuit. Precisely, the courts recently ruled that digital currencies should be classified as commodities. The ruling of the McDonnell case, however, is expected to be issued on Thursday 18th July, having been pushed forward for a day due to the persistent absence of Patrick. Over the last five days of the proceedings, McDonnell has only turned up once.
The case is being overseen by US District Judge in charge of the city’s Eastern District, Jack Weinstein. While issuing the preliminary phases of his ruling, the judge reiterated that the lawsuit was a criminal case. Typically, such cases require substantial amounts of convincing evidence to be successful. However, in this case, as the judge pointed out, the presented evidence was not sufficient to satisfy the burden of proof.
The judge added that due to the situational circumstances, McDonnell can opt to challenge the lawsuit basing his argument on the insufficient burden of proof. Furthermore, Weinstein stated that Patrick might be obligated to give up the rights afforded to him by the Fifth Amendment because he is defending himself.
As mentioned earlier, Patrick McDonnell has been conspicuously absent during most of last week’s proceedings. Many speculate that the unsuccessful attempt to have the lawsuit against him dismissed on jurisdictional grounds is the primary reason behind the absenteeism. Additionally, the CFTC opted to present video clips of previously conducted depositions instead of having Patrick testify on the court’s docks.
Notably, Judge Weinstein has explicitly stated in his closing statements that McDonnell can easily reapply for the case's dismissal on the grounds that the evidence does not meet the rationale of a typical criminal suit. When addressing Patrick, the judge told him that he could file a motion for dismissal due top scanty evidence, but this will result in the possible rebuttal of the testimony he issues to defend himself. Although he denied the motion, Weinstein said the advice could applicable if McDonnell appeals giants his ruling.
When reading out his closing statement the judge indicated his willingness to give Patrick the last chance to defend himself. Specifically, he said that the alleged acts of the accused were serious, he did not want to hold him into contempt. Weinstein told the CFTC attorneys to inform McDonnell that he is allowed to make a final argument and possibly file for a dismissal during the designated day for the ruling.
Nonetheless, nobody knows McDonnell's stance on the recent developments, as well as his next move. In a letter crafted to the court, Patrick stated that he was currently facing a severe financial crisis which has resulted in enormous debts and living as a destitute. McDonnell further requested the court to excuse him temporarily from the ongoing proceedings as he works to regain his financial stability.