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Greene v. Mizuho Bank, Ltd.

United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, Eastern Division

December 11, 2017, Decided; December 11, 2017, Filed

14 C 1437


 [*871]  Memorandum Opinion and Order

In this putative class action, Gregory Greene, Joseph Lack, Anthony Motto, and Gregory Pearce allege that Mizuho Bank, Ltd. and Mark Karpeles are liable for financial losses arising from the demise of the Mt. Gox bitcoin exchange. Doc. 245. Plaintiffs bring only state law claims, and subject matter jurisdiction lies under the Class Action Fairness Act, 28 U.S.C. § 1332(d). Earlier in the litigation—when Greene, an Illinois citizen, and Lack, a California citizen, were the only named plaintiffs—the court issued an opinion, familiarity with which is assumed, denying Mizuho Bank's motion under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(2) to dismiss the claims against it for lack of personal jurisdiction. Docs. 199-200 (reported at 169 F. Supp. 3d 855 (N.D. Ill. 2016)). For complicated reasons explained in the opinion, the denial was conditioned on putative class counsel's adding as a named plaintiff an Illinois resident alleged to be a member of the Deposit Subclass. The third amended complaint met that condition by adding [**3]  Anthony Motto, an Illinois citizen, as a named plaintiff and class representative of the putative Deposit Subclass. Docs. 205-206. In February 2017, putative class counsel moved for leave to file a fourth amended complaint adding Gregory Pearce, a Pennsylvania citizen, as a named plaintiff. Doc. 242. After Mizuho informed the court that it did not oppose the amendment, the motion was granted, Doc. 244, and the fourth amended complaint, now the operative complaint, was filed, Doc. 245.

The complaint names Motto, Greene, Lack, and Pearce as representatives of the putative Mt. Gox Class, defined as "[a]ll persons in the United States who had bitcoins or money stored with Mt. Gox on February 24, 2014." Id. at ¶ 89. The complaint names Motto and Lack as representatives of the putative Deposit Subclass, defined as those members of the putative Mt. Gox Class "who deposited money into their Mt. Gox account through Mizuho Bank after the date [when] Mizuho Bank stopped processing withdrawals." Ibid. The complaint names Pearce as the sole representative of the putative Withdrawal Subclass, defined as those members of the putative Mt. Gox Class "who initiated a request to withdraw[] Fiat Currency from [**4]  their Mt. Gox account after the date [when] Mizuho Bank stopped processing withdrawals, and whose withdrawal request was not fulfilled." Ibid.

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289 F. Supp. 3d 870 *; 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 202802 **

GREGORY GREENE, JOSEPH LACK, ANTHONY MOTTO, and GREGORY PEARCE, individually and on behalf of all others similarly situated, Plaintiffs, vs. MIZUHO BANK, LTD. and MARK KARPELES, Defendants.

Prior History: Lack v. Mizuho Bank, Ltd., 169 F. Supp. 3d 855, 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 32020 (N.D. Ill., Mar. 14, 2016)


personal jurisdiction, nonresident, Withdrawal, Deposit, plaintiff's claim, named plaintiff, bitcoins, class action, forfeiture, resident, reconsideration motion, putative class, Plaintiffs', contacts, currency, Press, fiat