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2 Firms Tapped To Rep Investors In Silvergate Laundering Suit


March 1, 2023

Bernstein Litowitz Berger & Grossmann LLP and Cohen Milstein Sellers & Toll PLLC were appointed class counsel in a proposed class action against Silvergate Capital Corp. that accuses the cryptocurrency-focused firm of failing to alert investors it lacked the necessary protections to detect ongoing money laundering on the platform.

U.S. District Judge Cathy Ann Bencivengo on Tuesday issued the order appointing class counsel and designating their clients — International Union of Operating Engineers Local No. 793, Members Pension Benefit Trust of Ontario, UMC Benefit Board Inc., Wespath Institutional Investments LLC, Indiana Public Retirement System, Boston Retirement System and Public School Teachers’ Pension & Retirement Fund of Chicago — as lead plaintiffs.

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Judge Bencivengo said she found the institutional investors made a “sufficient preliminary showing” that they satisfy the typicality and adequacy requirements for lead plaintiff and that Bernstein Litowitz and Cohen Milstein are “reasonable” choices for class counsel.

“Both firms specialize in representing investors in nationwide class actions and have served as lead or co-lead counsel in numerous securities class actions that resulted in significant recoveries for class members,” the order states.

The suit was filed against Silvergate in December, claiming more than $425 million was laundered on Silvergate’s platform before the company went public in 2019.

Silvergate investors said the truth about the money laundering came to light in November when research firm Marcus Aurelius Value tweeted that recently subpoenaed Silvergate bank records showed $425 million in transfers from Silvergate cryptocurrency bank accounts to what the research firm described as South American money launderers. Marcus Aurelius Value conducts due diligence on publicly traded companies.

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The investors are represented by Jonathan D. Uslaner, Hannah Ross, John Rizio-Hamilton, Avi Josefson and Scott R. Foglietta of Bernstein Litowitz Berger & Grossmann LLP, and Carol V. Gilden, Steven J. Toll, Jan E. Messerschmidt and Brendan R. Schneiderman of Cohen Milstein Sellers & Toll PLLC.

Read the article on Law360.