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Crypto hotshot raped wife, withheld food, forced her to groom his privates: lawsuit

Max Hartman allegedly would punish his wife in shocking ways when she didn't have sex with him on demand, according to court papers.
Max Hartman allegedly would punish his wife in shocking ways when she didn't have sex with him on demand, according to court papers.

A crypto bigwig subjected his wife to years of twisted sexual abuse, she claims in a lawsuit.

Max Hartman allegedly would punish his wife in shocking ways when she didn’t have sex with him on demand, according to court papers.

During one exchange Hartman allegedly texted her she was not permitted to eat the food he’d bought for their Chelsea home, according to messages included in the litigation.

Max Hartman allegedly used hidden cameras to film sexual encounters, and subjected his wife to years of twisted sexual abuse. SUPREME COURT OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK COUNTY OF NEW YORK
Max Hartman allegedly used hidden cameras to film sexual encounters, and subjected his wife to years of twisted sexual abuse. SUPREME COURT OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK COUNTY OF NEW YORK
Max Hartman allegedly subjected his wife to years of bizarre demands, she said in a lawsuit. meetup.com
Max Hartman allegedly subjected his wife to years of bizarre demands, she said in a lawsuit. meetup.com

“If you want to share in my bounty you need to be nice to me,” he wrote. “I will permit you to eat one of my bananas today as a gesture of good faith but definitely no ice cream.”

Hartman, 34, frequently ridiculed her weight and clothes; and “regularly required [her] to groom his private areas,” even bending over and asking her to photograph him from behind to examine the job she’d done, the ex, identified in court papers only as S.S., said in the Manhattan Supreme Court lawsuit.

The pair met as teenagers and briefly dated but broke up when Hartman pressured the then 13-year-old for sex, claimed the woman. They got back together as she graduated college.

He allegedly forced her into sex three times during their more than decade-long relationship, including one attack which left her bleeding, according to court papers.

S.S. did not report the attacks to police.

“Bit by bit he made me feel very small and worthless,” S.S., now 32, told The Post. “It was awful. As it was happening I felt in my gut that something wasn’t right, but every time I tried to stand up for myself he would twist my words and make me out to be the one who was wrong. . . . It sounds ridiculous but you get put down enough, and get told that you’re wrong enough, you start to believe it.”

In one of a series of text exchanges, Hartman allegedly forbade his wife from eating groceries he paid for — because she refused to have sex with him while she suffered a panic attack, she alleged. SUPREME COURT OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK COUNTY OF NEW YORK
In one of a series of text exchanges, Hartman allegedly forbade his wife from eating groceries he paid for — because she refused to have sex with him while she suffered a panic attack, she alleged. SUPREME COURT OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK COUNTY OF NEW YORK

S.S. claims in the lawsuit that Harman co-owns CardCoins, an online service that lets users trade prepaid gift cards for Bitcoin, and is co-organizer of BitDevs, a crypto currency social network with more than 5,000 members in New York City alone.

He used gift cards from CardCoins “for the majority of his living expenses,” she alleged, including private flights and the rent on their $10,000 a-month apartment.

Hartman has twice been stopped by law enforcement while traveling with large amounts of cash, including a November 2018 incident on Amtrak in Chicago, in which authorities found $884,630 in cash in his luggage, and in March 2019, while trying to board a private jet, federal court papers show.

In the 2019 incident, authorities said the $409,805 Hartman had stuffed in a large black duffel bag was “packaged in a manner consistent with narcotics proceeds,” they said in court records.

Each time, he was let go without charges and authorities eventually returned most of the cash to Hartman, according to court documents.

When S.S. finally broke things off last year, Hartman demanded to keep using the apartment for video meetings so no one would know they’d split; repeatedly sent her demeaning messages, and snuck back in while she wasn’t there to secretly record himself having sex with other women, she claimed in the lawsuit.

Another text exchange shows Hartman allegedly telling the woman what she is not allowed to eat. SUPREME COURT OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK COUNTY OF NEW YORK
Another text exchange shows Hartman allegedly telling the woman what she is not allowed to eat. SUPREME COURT OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK COUNTY OF NEW YORK

The lawsuit includes images purportedly showing Hartman setting up the hidden camera.

She found a trove of videos of the secret sex on multiple SD cards Hartman apparently left behind, according to the litigation, including a clip in which one woman could be heard negotiating a $10,000 payment for penetration.

In January, he allegedly sent her a link to a Reddit thread about a woman who discovered her boyfriend had been secretly recording their sexual encounters, prompting S.S. to notify the other women in the recordings she’d found.

Hartman allegedly maintained a trove of footage of secretly recorded sex acts. SUPREME COURT OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK COUNTY OF NEW YORK
Hartman allegedly maintained a trove of footage of secretly recorded sex acts. SUPREME COURT OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK COUNTY OF NEW YORK

In response, Hartman allegedly falsely accused S.S. of urging him to commit suicide, contended S.S., who then decided to sue.

In a lengthy statement, Hartman denied working for CardCoins, claimed he and S.S. were never married and that he was never violent. Of the hidden camera allegation, he said, “I’m pretty sure the images in the complaint are from a pet cam that she made me set up to monitor her cats.”

“As the value of digital assets continues to rise, investors and executives in the space are increasingly being targeted by unscrupulous actors of all stripes,” he told The Post.

“Since we were never married, there was no divorce settlement. So this is apparently how she thinks she can exact her pound of flesh,” he said.

Hartman is accused of recording his encounters with strangers and with his wife. SUPREME COURT OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK COUNTY OF NEW YORK
Hartman is accused of recording his encounters with strangers and with his wife. SUPREME COURT OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK COUNTY OF NEW YORK

CardCoins said in a statement Hartman does not work for the company and is not a co-owner, while describing the lawsuit in a statement as “extremely bizarre, misleading, and defamatory.” CardCoins is not being sued by S.S.

S.S. is seeking unspecified damages for intentional infliction of emotional distress, battery, rape and other claims.

“I don’t want anyone else to go through what I’ve gone through,” she said.

Hartman can be seen in hidden camera video footage setting up the device immediately before having sex, contends S.S.’s attorney, Daniel Szalkiewicz, who added, “claims the cameras were used to watch the cat are belied by recordings of other women at his pet-free Harlem apartment as well.

“No person should ever have to endure the hardships our client has experienced at Mr. Hartman’s hands,” he continued. “We look forward to a court holding Mr. Hartman accountable.”