Founders of Massena cryptocurrency mine battle each other in court

Updated: Aug. 31, 2020 at 1:10 PM EDT
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MASSENA, N.Y. (WWNY) - The founders of a Massena cryptocurrency mine fighting each other in court. It could impact operations at what’s billed as the world’s largest digital currency operation.

Coinmint co-founder Prieur Leary wants to sell the company. His co-founding partner doesn’t. Leary sued. Now he’s locked out of Coinmint.

“We’ve lined up a deal not only to resolve the current situation, but to bring the facility to its full capacity,” said Leary.

Co-founder Ashton Soniat says there’s no such deal. Now, he and Leary each accuse the other of stealing company funds. They’ve wrestled in court over email servers and bank statements.

“Certainly the case has gotten very ugly,” said Leary.

Leary wants the court to dissolve and sell the company. He says it’s in bad shape. His partner says it’s doing fine. Soniat’s lawyer says Leary is misleading people.

“Anytime anyone is going out and spreading disinformation, that’s a dangerous thing,” said Robert Lemus, Soniat’s lawyer.

Soniat’s side says 49 contractors working at Coinmint recently became company employees. There’s 65 employees there now. When Coinmint opened, the company said they could eventually employ 150 people.

So far, Coinmint is the only cryptocurrency miner to have established a large prescence in Massena. Others have come and gone.

They come for the cheap electricity. But it’s a volatile business. And at Coinmint in Massena, it’s a little bit more so these days.

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