$1 Billion USDT Deposit at Center of Unpublicized UK Legal Battle

Reading Time: 2 minutes
  • A $1 billion USDT deposit is at the center of a UK High Court battle between two companies
  • The deposit was made to a subsidiary of a financial company owned by a banker who has been charged with bribery by US authorities
  • The timing of the despot is key in the drama, which draws more unwanted attention to how each USDT is backed

A $1 billion deposit of USDT is at the center of a High Court legal battle in Britain, thanks to the controversial recipient. The deposit was made in 2021 with a subsidiary of Britannia Financial Group, whose founder, a Venezuelan-Italian banker by the name of Julio Herrera Velutini, is currently under legal scrutiny in the United States over an alleged bribery scheme. The deposit has become the focal point of an ongoing legal dispute between Britannia Financial and Arbitral International, a British Virgin Islands-registered company, giving USDT’s owner, Tether, more unwanted scrutiny.

Tether Deposit Takes Center Stage

According to court filings, Tether initiated the deposit in November 2021, marking a significant financial transaction that unfolded against the backdrop of increasing scrutiny of its operations. Despite being a linchpin in the cryptocurrency markets, Tether has been notoriously secretive about its ownership structure, the management of its substantial $87 billion in assets, and its connections with financial institutions.

In August 2022, Velutini was charged by US authorities over his connection to an alleged bribery scheme involving a Puerto Rican politician, charges he deemed “baseless” and “politically motivated.” In the legal battle between Britannia Financial and Arbitral International, the dispute centers on an agreement related to the sale of a Bahamas-based brokerage, with Arbitral contending that Britannia Financial failed to fulfill the payment obligations tied to the acquisition. The disagreement hinges on the timing of Tether’s deposit, occurring within the 12 months following the business sale.

More Scrutiny on USDT Backing

While Tether asserts that each UST stablecoin is backed by a US dollar or equivalent, ensuring redemption on demand, the stability of this promise rests on the liquidity and safety of its reserves. Tether’s deposit with Britannia Financial has now become a critical element in assessing the financial intricacies of both companies, adding another layer to the complex landscape of cryptocurrency and its entanglement with traditional financial institutions.