DOJ charges Ohio Resident for laundering $300 million in bitcoin
Larry Dean Harmon who had moved bitcoins worth more than $300 million to help users hide their cryptocurrency source has pleaded guilty on Wednesday.
Larry has agreed to surrender more than 4,400 bitcoins which is currently valued at more than $300 million as part of his plea in Washington, D.C., federal court. Larry is going to be sentenced at a date that is yet to be scheduled. He will face a maximum of 20 years of prison term along with fines of hundreds of millions of dollars.
Larry maintained a residence at Belize during his criminal activity. The Financial Crimes Enforcement Network has laid a $60 million civil monetary penalty on Larry.
Larry was running Helix from 2014 through 2017 and was popularly known as a “mixer” or “tumbler” of bitcoin. Helix was sending bitcoin to customers in such a way that hid who was sending that cryptocurrency.
The prosecutors have said that Helix, a Darknet-based service, moved over 350,000 bitcoins. These bitcoins were valued at over $300 million at the time of the transactions for customers The largest volume of transactions came from Darknet markets. Helix had also partnered with several Darknet markets like Evolution, AlphaBay, and Cloud 9, to provide bitcoin money-laundering services for customers.
“Harmon profited by facilitating the back-channel support of these marketplaces and helped criminals launder money they received via illicit activities.” the chief of the IRS Criminal Investigation Division, James Lee said.
Mr Harmon, 38 years old, is currently out on bail in Akron, Ohio. He has admitted in the hearing on Wednesday that he knew that AlphaBay and Evolution were offering platforms to buy illegal stuff like hacking and money laundering.
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