Binance has filed a legal case within the state of New Jersey against Forbes Media as well as two of its journalists, Michael del Castillo and Jason Brett, alleging that a piece of writing revealed under the title “Leaked ‘Tai Chi’ Document Reveals Binance’s Elaborate Scheme To Evade Bitcoin Regulators” was defamatory. Binance is demanding both compensatory along exemplary damages.
The article, that primarily appeared on the Forbes website earlier on 29th Oct., revealed that the “Tai Chi” document contained details of a scheme designed to “intentionally deceive regulators” within the U.S. Consistent with Forbes, the document described an idea to funnel revenue from a United States entity back to Binance while insulating the firm from U.S. enforcement.
Within the filed complaint, filed recently on Wednesday with the U.S. District Court of New Jersey, Binance added that “The Story contains numerous false, misleading and defamatory statements about Binance.” The complaint continues to state that the firm didn’t form the Tai Chi document and has never implemented the scheme described within it. Binance also claims that Harry Zhou, reportedly the author of the document, never worked for the firm.
Binance’s complaint adds that the firm transfers the defendants a letter demanding a removal, retraction, and apology. The article however still remains in situ, and an editor’s note within the text states that “Chief compliance officer Lim had earlier sent an email to Forbes confirming that Zhou had been a Binance employee.” Within its complaint, Binance includes this claim within a list of “false, misleading and defamatory statements.”
Matt Hutchison, Chief Communications Officer for Forbes, revealed that “We stand by our reporting.”
The barrier for successful defamation lawsuits against journalists and media organizations is about high. Plaintiffs generally need to prove that the defendant acted with “reckless disregard for the truth” or with actual malice [knowing that the statements made were false]. Another element of a successful defamation suit is usually a “material harm,” and Binance alleges within the complaint that it’s suffered material damages “believed to be within the many dollars” as a result of the article’s publication, which it hopes to prove at trial.
Binance’s CEO, Changpeng Zhao, earlier also threatened to sue The Block, a cryptocurrency news outlet.