- An electronics expert has suggested that the Crypto Leaks video featuring Kyle Roche may include deepfaked material
- David Kalat suggested in court testimony that the audio and video have been at the very least edited to take Kyle Roche’s speech out of context
- The full videos have never been released by Crypto Leaks
Videos purportedly showing underhand activities of a U.S. crypto lawyer show “extensive signs of tampering and manipulation” and can’t be accepted as an accurate portrayal of what went on, according to an information science and electronic evidence expert. In written testimony submitted in the class action lawsuit against the Dfinity project, David Kalat said that “highly anomalous characteristics” present in the video, plus the fact that the original videos have never been released, suggest to him that manipulation of one sort or another is evident.
Kyle Roche Left Firm After Revelations
The Crypto Leaks scandal broke last year when Kyle Roche, then a partner in Roche Freedman, the firm involved in many cryptocurrency lawsuits including representing Ira Kleiman against Craig Wright, was filmed boasting about how Roche Freedman uses lawsuits on behalf of certain crypto clients to bring down the rivals of these clients, with the videos focusing on the actions of Avalanche founder Emin Gün Sirer. The video showed Roche claiming to own 1% of the circulating supply of AVAX, the coin associated with the Avalanche blockchain, suggesting that his actions on behalf of Gün Sirer had an ulterior motive.
The revelations, which were captured in covert videos taken in an office and later in a restaurant, were contested by Roche, who said he was illegally filmed and was intoxicated at the time. Nevertheless he nevertheless left the law firm, which has since been renamed to Freedman Normand Friedland LLP. However, the suggestion that Roche Freedman was acting in bad faith when it took out its various lawsuits has led to almost all defendants in their crypto cases filing to have the cases thrown out or Freedman Normand Friedland LLP removed as counsel. Some judges have assented white others have not, which is where we get to these claims of manipulation.
Dfinity Class Action Brings Rebuttal of Videos
In August 2021, Roche Freedman filed a class action lawsuit against Dfinity USA Research LLC, its affiliate the Dfinity Foundation and CEO Dominic Williams, alleging that it engaged in insider trading, securities fraud, and the promotion and sale of unregistered securities when it created and launched the Internet Computer Protocol and issued ICP tokens to itself and other “insiders” on May 10, 2021.
According to the lawsuit, shortly after issuing ICP tokens to itself and its insiders, Dfinity and its insiders began to sell “massive quantities of these ICP tokens to the public”, causing the price to fall from a high of over $730 on May 10 to approximately $60 on August 9. Roche Freedman alleged that this was caused by insiders dumping massive amounts of ICP tokens on the open market, securing billions of dollars of profits for themselves and driving the price of ICP down, leaving retailer buyers holding the baby.
In October last year Dfinity asked U.S. District Judge James Donato to disqualify Freedman Normand Friedland from the case, citing Roche’s newly emerged bias, and the law firm posted a defense this week that included testimony from Kalat that there were serious issues with the legitimacy of the recording. Kalat noted that it wasn’t possible to compare the released recordings to the originals because Crypto Leaks hasn’t released them, so instead compared the videos with other exposé videos on the Crypto Leaks site, opining that “these videos exhibit extensive signs of tampering and manipulation and cannot be accepted as reliable or authentic documents of what was said at those meetings.”
Deep Fake or Clever Editing?
In his comparison, Kalat found that each video had been “subjected to several self-evident alterations that were made after the hidden camera videos were first recorded”, saying that it was clear that hours of recordings were condensed to just a handful of minutes, thus making them unrepresentative of the entire conversation. He also points out that the orientation has been changed, as has the voice of the other parties and subtitles added. Kalat also points to discrepancies in the quality of the videos, suggesting that manipulation of the content has taken place and arguing that Roche’s face and voice may have been altered using ‘deep fake’ technology, although he stops short of saying this directly.
Kalat summarizes his analysis by saying that “to a reasonable degree of scientific probability […] the Restaurant Videos are the subject of manipulation that may include deepfake alterations.” However, evidence of an actual deep fake is thin on the ground, with clever editing the more likely route taken by the Crypto Leaks team in support of their assertions, if indeed this type of manipulation has taken place.
Crypto Leaks Under the Microscope
Crypto Leaks itself has come under suspicion of its neutrality in this matter, with some suggesting that BSV paymaster Calvin Ayre, who fronts all Craig Wright’s lawsuits against his perceived enemies (which now number in the double figures) funded the sting operation in order to swing things in Wright’s favor regarding their various lawsuits. This hasn’t worked however, as the judges in Wright’s cases, and those involving his wife and ex-wife, have all refused to kick Freedman Normand Friedland from representing the defendant, primarily Ira Kleiman.
Supporters of this BSV-backing theory point to the fact that BSV and Craig Wright are singled out as victims, which BSV followers have used ever since as proof that the world is trying to suppress their technology, and the fact that the person Roche is caught in flagrante with in the videos is Christen Ager-Hanssen, who was very swiftly appointed CEO of Nchain, Craig Wright’s company and developer of BSV technology.