New York Judge Orders Increasing Fine on Bitcoin Facility

(TNS) — A State Supreme Court justice, following the lead of another justice, has ordered a cryptocurrency mining company in the Falls to stop operating or face fines of $10,000 a day.

Justice Edward Pace said he would impose the fines, dating back to Dec. 9, when Supreme Court Justice Frank Sedita III first issued a temporary restraining order (TRO) that directed U.S. Data Technologies Group Ltd. and U.S. Data Mining Group Inc, doing business as U.S. Bitcoin, to stop operating while lawyers for the Falls sought a preliminary injunction to force their cryptocurrency mining facility on Buffalo Avenue to comply with a new zoning ordinance governing high energy use industries.

Pace said the $10,000 fine would be in place through Jan. 31.

“If, by January 31, (the cryptocurrency mining operation) has not shut down, then a check should be delivered to the city of Niagara Falls on February 1 for $540,000,” Pace said.

The justice also told John P. Bartolomei, an attorney for U.S. Bitcoin, that if his clients continued to operate past Jan. 31, the daily fine would increase to $25,000 a day until the case was finally settled. Bartolomei protested the ruling and indicated he would appeal Pace’s decision to the State Supreme Court Appellate Division Fourth Department in Rochester.

Attorneys for the Falls had asked Sedita, who recently transferred some of his caseload to Pace, to find U.S. Bitcoin in contempt of court for violating his TRO that directed them to shut down their Buffalo Avenue facility, which the city charges is creating “a public nuisance” and engaging in “ongoing violations” of the city’s Zoning Code.

Sedita issued the restraining order on Dec. 1. It directed U.S. Bitcoin to cease “engag(ing) in “any and all forms of cryptocurrency mining” pending the outcome of a hearing on the city’s request for a preliminary injunction that seeks to shutdown three cryptocurrency mining facilities.

© 2023 the Lockport Union-Sun & Journal (Lockport, N.Y.). Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

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