In the latest development in the crypto-soap-opera that is the Mt. Gox bankruptcy, plaintiffs in an Illinois class action brought by angry depositors have agreed to settle its claims against the beleaguered Bitcoin exchange. The settlement agreement, filed with an Illinois court yesterday, sets up the story as a heartwarming "We Are the World"-type reconciliation:
... in what can only be described as an extraordinary turn of events, plaintiffs Gregory Green and Joseph Lack, defendants Jed McCaleb and Gonzague Gay-Bouchery, various international creditors, and a group of outside investors came together during a weeklong (at times, day-and-night) mediation presided over by the Honorable Wayne R. Andersen (ret.) to reach multiple class-wide settlements (one here and one in Canada) and a plan to reorganize the Mt. Gox exchange as a going concern. All told, the settlements and reorganization plan, if first approved by this Court and then the Japanese bankruptcy court, have the potential of more than fully compensating the class, as well as the other exchange members who don't fall within the class, for their losses that resulted from the fall of Mt. Gox.
The outside investors referred to here are an entity called Sunlot Holdings. Sunlot, a new venture run by a number of "bitcoin entrepreneurs" and venture capitalists, has been seeking for some time to take over Mt. Gox. And it promises, in its own press release announcing the settlement, to be more aggressive in trying to figure out what the hell happened to all those bitcoins that Mt. Gox lost (and then found, and who knows, there's still time to lose it again before any reorganization):
Under the agreement, filed in U.S. District Court in Chicago, Sunlot would immediately distribute Mt. Gox assets on a proportional basis determined by an independent audit to the 127,000 affected customers. Customers also would receive a 16.5% interest in Sunlot, allowing them to share in company dividends, as well as benefit from any future buyout or IPO.
An Administration and Prosecution Fund would manage customer interests and the recovery of the approximately $275 million of stolen customer assets. Capitalized by $10 million (3.6% of stolen assets) in MtGox cash held in trust by Nobuaki Kobayashi, the administrator appointed by the Tokyo District Court, the fund would conduct forensic investigations and pursue prosecution of perpetrators. An incentive bounty of 10% of recovered assets would reward those participating in the recovery.
Sunlot is led by William Quigley, a partner at Clearstone, and Brock Pierce, a former child actor who's been around virtual currencies for years. We'll have more on this story soon.
[Image via AP.]