Pavel Pogodin, one of the most active litigants against the billionaires of crypto, is rumored to be dead.
Most X (formerly Twitter) users just learned of the lawyer’s potential passing this week, when an image of his death certificate recirculated. FTX (in bankruptcy) also seemingly referenced his death in its new lawsuit seeking to claw back funds from Sam Bankman-Fried’s parents.
An image of a Dominican Republic death certificate for Russian-born Pavel Igor Pogodin shows July 8, 2022 as his final day at the age of 50. Cause of death was listed as respiratory insufficiency, pulmonary edema, acute myocardial infarction, and atherosclerosis of the coronary arteries. His wife is Olga Petrova. The Dominican Republic seemingly issued his death certificate on August 8, 2022.
Pogodin’s profile picture — brooding, smoking a cigar, and lathered for a single blade shave — taunted his defendants. It also played on the Bond Villain-type self-portrait by Tether’s Giancarlo Devasini: half-shaven, contemplating his dystopian crypto venture.
- Pogodin targeted many Tether-dominant crypto exchanges, including FTX and BitMEX, with class action lawsuits.
- The Russian lived in the Caribbean in recent years.
- His company, Consensus Law, had its headquarters in Isla Verde, Puerto Rico.
Pogodin’s LinkedIn described him as a principal at Consensus Law. Representing lead plaintiffs or on behalf of his own firms, he signed many legal documents for class actions filed in court.
Pogodin’s silence leaves many unanswered questions — not only about his cause of death, but also about the merits of his class-action lawsuits which will likely languish or expire in court without his leadership.
As with the unexplained drowning of MakerDAO’s millionaire developer Nikolai Mushegian in Puerto Rico, rumors of foul play are already flying. The history of crypto is filled with gruesome and mysterious deaths.
Pavel Pogodin’s Bitcoin Manipulation Abatement LLC
Lawsuits filed by Pogodin and his two firms, Consensus Law and Bitcoin Manipulation Abatement LLC, were some of the highest-profile class action lawsuits against crypto billionaires, including:
- A 2019 lawsuit against FTX alleging market manipulation, racketeering, and unlicensed securities sales. FTX had allegedly “attacked” Binance’s futures market but failed to liquidate any positions. A court dismissed his lawsuit against FTX a month later.
- A May 2020 lawsuit against Ripple alleging securities law violations. His lawsuit interestingly far predates the SEC’s legal action, which Commissioners filed in December 2020.
- Pogodin sued the digital asset derivatives trading platform BitMEX for racketeering and fraud in May 2020. Then he represented a client named Anatoly Sorokin in a similar lawsuit filed against BitMEX in May 2021.
Defendants or their associates naturally denied the charges in Pogodin’s lawsuits. Alameda Research called the lawsuit against FTX a “nuisance suit” in a blog post.
A BitMEX parent company HDR Global Trading Limited spokesperson said, “Pavel Pogodin of ‘Consensus Law’ has filed a series of increasingly spurious claims against us and others in the cryptocurrency sector.”
All three companies — FTX, Ripple, and BitMEX — were sued by US government agencies for over $100 million apiece.
With Pavel Pogodin silenced as one of the most aggressive class action attorneys in the crypto industry, many questions he asked might never be answered.