Lawyer Responsible for Escrow in a Bitcoin Deal Sued for Alleged Misappropriation by GSR Markets

As per recent reports, GSR Markets, a key platform that facilitates algorithmic trading of virtual assets, has decided to sue a lawyer by the name of Diana McDonald for allegedly having appropriated half the amount of a Bitcoin transaction that fell through. The said Bitcoin transaction was being made between the two companies GSR Markets and Valkyrie and was worth about 4 million dollars. Allegations from the GSR Markets suggest that McDonald took 2 million for herself. McDonald has denied the claim.

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The defendant is adamant that nothing had been done that was illegal or motivated by any kind of ill intent. What really happened?

For the said deal, Valkyrie had agreed to give the GSR Markets a total of 1000 Bitcoins against a payment of $4000 per Bitcoin. This made the entire transaction equivalent to a total sum of 4 million dollars and McDonald was given the responsibility of serving as the escrow.

Although details of the deal have not yet been made too clear, it seems that GSR apparently received no Bitcoins from Valkyrie. However, it had already given 4 million dollars to McDonald as a part of the escrow deal. However, when the deal fell through, McDonald returned just half of that sum, which is 2 million dollars.

In her defence, McDonald stated that a part of the funds held by her for the deal had been required to supposedly “unlock” some Bitcoin wallet, which does not sound like a legitimate way to have spent any substantial amount, forget the massive sum of 2 million dollars.

She has also claimed that the plaintiff, that is GSR Markets, had supposedly “confirmed delivery of 2000 non-spendable” Bitcoins but this also has not only been refuted by the plaintiff, but also sounds quite untenable.

The McDonald and McDonald law firm is being accused by GSR Markets for neglect and violation of fiduciary duty and fraud. Wells Fargo, the bank that provided the account being used for this transaction, has also been sued for alleged complicity in this supposed fraud. Diana McDonald herself has repeatedly denied the possibility of having committed fraud or neglected her fiduciary duty.

Only time will unravel the further contours of this case. Stay tuned.