Ben Armstrong, also known as ‘BitBoy Crypto’, missed a court appearance ordered by a federal magistrate judge in response to the YouTuber’s alleged harassment of counsel in a lawsuit involving several crypto influencers.
Judge Melissa Damian had ordered Armstrong and his counsel to appear on April 20 to address the YouTuber’s “harassment towards plaintiffs’ counsel.” However, Armstrong openly mocked the order on social media, instead tweeting pictures of himself on a beach in the Bahamas.
I am supposed to be in court today.
I’m not. Why?
Because I don’t give AF
— Ben Armstrong (@Bitboy_Crypto) April 20, 2023
According to various reports, Judge Damian warned Armstrong’s attorney — who was in attendance, as ordered — that she would issue a warrant for the YouTuber’s arrest if he failed to appear by April 24. The harassment case against Armstrong moved forward without him as the judge reportedly referred the matter to the FBI.
Individuals affected by the collapse of FTX filed a class-action lawsuit against Armstrong and several other YouTubers in March for allegedly promoting fraud through the exchange “without disclosing compensation.” Moskowitz, the lead attorney representing the plaintiffs in that case, claimed that Armstrong harassed the legal team with “endless phone calls, tweets and emails,” voicemails “full of vulgarities,” and social media posts suggesting threats.
Amid court proceedings on April 20, the YouTuber continued to mock the harassment case and Moskowitz. However, he said that he was “not flying by the seat of [his] pants,” hinting that his absence from court may have been with the advice of counsel. He reportedly offered through counsel to appear before the judge in May.
As part of the judge’s order on April 20, Armstrong will reportedly be barred from tweeting about Moskowitz and the plaintiffs in the case. He previously compared the lawyer to an ambulance chaser and a pig in addition to largely dismissing the basis of the lawsuit. Cointelegraph reached out to Moskowitz for comment, but did not receive a response at the time of publication.
A crypto influencer with more than 1 million followers on Twitter and 1.4 million YouTube subscribers, Armstrong is no stranger to online controversy. He has insulted high-profile figures including European Central Bank president Christine Lagarde and U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission chair Gary Gensler in addition to others affecting policy in the space.