One week after a cryptocurrency startup began paying law firm Roche Freedman in digital assets, founding partner Kyle Roche began suing its competitors in class action lawsuits filed on behalf of retail investors that made no mention of Roche’s connection to the startup, Ava Labs. Three years later, surreptitiously recorded videos showed Roche explaining the connection to a Norwegian entrepreneur.
“I was fortunate in that I did the Ava Labs deal, so I have the ability to say, ‘Look, it’s not about the money anymore for me. It’s about taking you guys to trial, and the sport of it,” Roche said in videos released by anonymous whistleblower site Crypto Leaks in late August. Then a man who later identified himself as Christen Ager-Hanssen asked whether Ava Labs had filed a complaint against a competitor. “No,” Roche replied. “They have me do that on behalf of the class.”