Sun. Jun 23rd, 2024

Court Freezes Cash Linked To 146 Crypto Wallets.

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The first civil order freezing cryptocurrency in Canada comes amid weeks of chaos on the streets of the country’s capital.

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Yesterday, a group of Ottawa residents won a private class action lawsuit to freeze at least 146 cryptocurrency wallets and bank assets tied to the main organizers of Canada’s “Freedom Convoy” in a bid to stanch funding for the ongoing demonstrations.

Known as a Mareva injunction, the lawsuit was filed by Ottawa residents Zexi Li, Geoffrey Devaney, and the Happy Goat Coffee business against key convoy organizers including Chris Barber, Benjamin Dichter, Tamara Lich, and Nicholas St. Louis. The hearing was held in private without public notice or access, lawyer Paul Champ who represents the residents bringing the suit, told The Star, a Toronto-headquartered Canadian newspaper. Li earlier this month won an injunction which barred protesters from honking their horns in downtown Ottawa.

The suit is unprecedented for the country, as it’s the “first time in Canada that a Mareva injunction [has] ever been used to freeze cryptocurrency,” says Matthew Burgoyne, a crypto- and blockchain-focused partner at Calgary-based McLeod Law. He added that the injunction was a powerful legal “remedy which can have significant consequences for a defendant.” The defendants weren’t given advance notice of the suit,says Champ.

The suit, brought by Zexi Li, Happy Goat Coffee Inc. and Geoffrey Devaney, sought to freeze assets raised by Alan Warnock, Tamara Lich, Benjamin Dichter, Patrick King, Christopher Garrah and Nicholas St. Louis.

“This court orders that the Mareva Respondents and their servants, employees, agents, assigns, officers, directors and anyone else acting on their behalf or in conjunction with any of them, and any and all persons with notice of this Order, are restrained from directly or indirectly, by any means whatsoever: (a) selling, removing, dissipating, alienating, transferring, assigning, encumbering, or similarly dealing with the assets of the Mareva Respondents listed in Schedule ‘A’; (b) instructing, requesting, counselling, demanding, or encouraging any other person to conduct themselves contrary to paragraph 2(a) above; and (c) facilitating, assisting in, aiding, abetting, or participating in any acts the effect of which is to contrary to paragraph 2(a) above, until final disposition of this action or further Order of this Court,” the filing said.

The respondents have a week to respond to the court, explaining what their assets are for, whether they own the assets and to “submit to an examination under oath.”

Pat King, one of the alleged organizers of the Freedom Convoy and one of the named parties in the Mareva order, was apparently arrested by Ottawa police on Friday while livestreaming on Facebook. King is the third organizer to be arrested, after the earlier arrests of Tamara Lich and Chris Barber.

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