• Adam Moskowitz alleged that he and his law firm experienced 'daily violent threats' from BitBoy
  • The crypto YouTuber has since said he is not attending next week's court hearing
  • The YouTuber previously denied the allegations that he was paid to promote FTX

Crypto influencer Ben Armstrong, popularly known as "Bitboy Crypto," has been ordered by a federal magistrate judge to appear in a Florida court next week in relation to the YouTuber's alleged harassment directed at class action attorney Adam Moskowitz and his law firm.

According to the order filed at the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida earlier this week, Judge Melissa Demian ordered Armstrong, who has been named as a defendant in a class action lawsuit led by Moskowitz and attorney David Boies, to appear in court on April 20 over the influencer's alleged harassment of Moskowitz and his law firm, CoinTelegraph reported.

In the class-action lawsuit that sought over $1 billion in damages against Armstrong and other defendants, plaintiff Edwin Garrison and six other complainants accused Bitboy and the other crypto influencers of promoting "FTX crypto fraud without disclosing compensation."

Armstrong told Decrypt in a report published Thursday that he was looking forward to staring "those scammers in the eyes," referring to the Moskowitz Law Firm.

"They will be dealt with, and this isn't going to turn out for them like they hope. Once again, the Moskowitz Law Firm has shown they will blatantly lie and make up false allegations in attempt of getting attention," Armstrong told Decrypt in a Twitter message.

However, he later tweeted to inform Moskowitz that he "will not be showing up to court Thursday." The influencer went on to say that he will "continue to relentlessly bully people that prey on the innocent and the weak."

Moskowitz, on the other hand, told Decrypt that he and his law firm appreciated the court's move to address the matter as soon as possible.

In a filing dated April 5, Moskowitz alleged that he and his law firm experienced "daily violent threats" from Armstrong. An earlier filing also alleged that Armstrong threatened to surround Moskowitz's home with protesters, as per Coin Telegraph.

According to the court filing in mid-March, Armstrong "was paid to endorse FTX," the fallen cryptocurrency exchange and crypto hedge fund, whose co-founder Sam Bankman-Fried is faced with multiple charges related to defrauding customers and investors as well as other charges alleging he influenced the 2022 U.S. elections through straw donors.

Armstrong and other crypto influencers, including Tom Nash, Erika Kullberg and Graham Stephan, were allegedly paid "handsomely" by FTX "to push its brand and encourage their followers to invest." The defendants, or Influencers, "did not disclose the nature and scope of their sponsorships and/or endorsement deals, payments and compensation, nor conduct adequate (if any) due diligence," the filing noted.

Finally, the plaintiffs said, "evidence has now been uncovered that reveals influences played a major role in the FTX disaster." The filing said Armstrong and other influencers named in the lawsuit "hyped the Deceptive FTX Platform for undisclosed payments ranging from tens of thousands of dollars to multimillion dollars."

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) requires social media influencers and creators to markedly disclose when they are being paid for promotion.

The filing also reiterated that the defendants were "liable" for the plaintiffs' sustained damages as they were "exposed to some or all of Defendants' misrepresentations and omissions regarding the FTX Platform."

Armstrong said in a tweet earlier this month that he was "falsely" attached as a paid promoter of the fallen cryptocurrency exchange. He also appeared to mock Moskowitz for being "scared and at risk because I call him names."

The YouTuber, who has 1.45 million subscribers on the video-sharing platform, previously told Decrypt that he had "never spoken with anyone at FTX or as a marketing agent acting on their behalf." He insisted that the allegations against him "are 100% false and it will be extremely easy to provide evidence of this."

The downfall of FTX took place early in November, with rival Binance pulling out of a supposed merger over alleged mishandled funds and regulatory investigations. The fallen exchange's new CEO, John J. Ray, has since admitted that the company committed "old-fashioned embezzlement" under Bankman-Fried.

Illustration shows FTX logo
Representative image of fallen cryptocurrency exchange FTX. Reuters