Crypto influencer Ben “Bitboy” Armstrong has been ordered to appear before a Miami court next week to iron out allegations of harassment directed at class action attorney Adam Moskowitz and his law firm.
Armstrong was named as a defendant in a class action lawsuit last month, co-led by Moskowitz and attorney David Boies. The lawsuit alleges multiple online influencers solicited the sale of unregistered securities in promoting the defunct cryptocurrency exchange FTX and seeks over $1 billion in damages.
Armstrong declined to comment on his ability to attend the hearing in person, which is scheduled for April 20. But the influencer told Decrypt he anticipates the opportunity to “stare those scammers in the eyes,” referring to members of the Moskowitz’s Law Firm.
“They will be dealt with, and this isn’t going to turn out for them like they hope,” Armstrong said via a Twitter message. “Once again, the Moskowitz Law Firm has shown they will blatantly lie and make up false allegations in attempt of getting attention.”
Moskowitz told Decrypt that he and his law firm are “extremely appreciative” of the court’s decision to soon address the matter.
When the lawsuit first appeared last month, Armstrong claimed he’d never received a dollar from FTX and that he plans on filing a countersuit. And since then, Armstrong has come out swinging against Moskowitz and his law firm on Twitter.
So let me get this straight… Adam Moskowitz frivolously attaches me falsely as a paid promoter of FTX, a site where people lot EVERYTHING… many lost life savings. Many on brink of suicide.
And this fragile pussy claims he is the one scared and at risk because I call him names.
— Ben Armstrong (@Bitboy_Crypto) April 6, 2023
But Armstrong’s alleged harassment isn’t limited to just an ongoing Twitter tirade, according to court documents filed last week.
Requesting Armstrong be ordered to appear before a Florida court, Moskowitz alleged Armstrong has made daily violent threats towards the lawsuit’s plaintiffs and counsel that include both phone calls and emails.
Armstrong himself has shared some of these emails, according to claims he’s made on social media, where Armstrong has called the attorney both a “pussy” and a “bitch.”
In one phone call, Armstrong allegedly said the home addresses of Moskowitz and his colleagues are actively being circulated on the social media website Reddit, prompting safety concerns on behalf of the lawyer.
“There’s some crazy people out there that will follow crazy advice, even if it’s not directly from the person himself,” Moskowitz told Decrypt last week, adding that his biggest fear is what one of Armstrong’s millions of followers could be compelled to do.
Additionally, Moskowitz told Decrypt that Armstrong’s conduct is unlike anything the attorney has experienced in his decades-long law career that spans the filing of thousands of class action lawsuits. He also described his behavior as “night and day” compared to other influencers named in the suit.
While Armstrong may be the most vocal defendant included in the lawsuit, the complaint named other prominent YouTuber stars, such as Graham Stephan, Kevin Paffrath, Jaspreet Singh, Andrei Jikh, Brian Jung, Jeremy Lefebvre, and Tom Nash—creators with millions of followers combined.
Similar to the numerous celebrities that promoted the now-defunct exchange, the lawsuit claims that FTX could not have become such a lucrative business without prominent voices that contributed to the image surrounding Sam Bankman-Fried’s failed crypto empire.
“FTX could not have arisen to such great heights without the massive impact of these Influencers,” the lawsuit’s complaint states, claiming they “hyped the Deceptive FTX Platform for undisclosed payments ranging from tens of thousands of dollars to multimillion dollar bribes.”
FTX was one of the most popular places to trade crypto when the exchange collapsed abruptly last November, dragging down the price of cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and Ethereum as the firm went under, and tarnishing the reputation of the digital assets industry.
The business crumbled swiftly after a steep drop in the exchange’s native token FTT triggered a run on the exchange and forced the company to admit it did not hold one-to-one reserves of customer assets.
The disgraced crypto CEO was later arrested in the Bahamas and subsequently extradited to the U.S., where he’s been hit with a litany of financial crimes including fraud. He has since been charged with more crimes related to allegedly illicit political donations.
Bankman-Fried has pleaded not guilty to the now 13 charges levied against him. Meanwhile, some of his closest business allies have agreed to cooperate with investigations into the exchange’s collapse and pleaded guilty to charges themselves.
The exchange’s bankruptcy case is ongoing and Bankman-Fried’s criminal trial is set to take place in October. And as the scope of Bankman-Fried’s alleged fraud continues to develop, those associated with the defunct exchange will likely continue to face scrutiny as countless investors that have been burned seek some form of reprieve.