The CEO of Ava Labs, Emin Gün Sirer, has rejected a report from crypto whistleblower CryptoLeaks alleging that the company had struck a deal with a popular law firm to actively damage companies in the industry. Sirer called the report “conspiracy theory nonsense” and “inflammatory.” The CryptoLeaks report that was made public on August 26, alleges that Ava Labs, the Layer 1 blockchain startup responsible for the research and development of Avalanche, paid law firm Roche Freedman to sue competitors such as Solana Labs.
Emin Gün Sirer, after the videos were published, took to Twitter to deny any involvement, stating, “How could anyone believe something so ridiculous as the conspiracy theory nonsense on Cryptoleaks? We would never engage in the unlawful, unethical and just plain wrong behavior claimed in these self-serving videos and inflammatory articles. Our tech & team speak for themselves.”
I assume this is accurate and that it’s as bad as it looks. Fits with everything I’ve seen previously from both Sirer and Roche. From a lawyer friend on Roche a few weeks ago: “dumb version of mob lawyers. Bottom of bottom of the barrel.” https://t.co/H5eDpvY4Ng
— Ari Paul ⛓️ (@AriDavidPaul) August 29, 2022
Among the allegations posted in the CryptoLeaks report, several videos appear to show founding partner Kyle Roche claiming that Roche Freedman was paid to support Ava Labs and attack its competitors, including Binance, Dfinity Foundation, and Solana.
In the videos, the subject reported to be Roche appears to claim that he reached an agreement with Ava Labs in September 2019 and was the first recipient of Ava Labs stock after Andreessen Horowitz.
“We did a deal where I agreed to provide legal services in exchange for a certain percentage of the token supply… that was September 2019,” he says.
The subject goes on to claim that he was “around a point” in tokens and equity, likely referring to a percentage point. According to the subject, his allocation represented around one-third of Ava Labs co-founder and chief operating officer Kevin Sekniqi’s allocation.
Many prominent crypto individuals have responded to the case. Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao said that he wasn’t sure if the allegations were true and that “of course, #binance was a target.”
BlockTower founder Ari Paul said that it “fits with everything I’ve seen previously from both Sirer and Roche.”