The founders of cryptocurrency exchange BitMEX pled guilty to violating the Bank Secrecy Act by failing to develop an anti-money laundering programme, according to the United States Attorney’s Office in Manhattan.
According to the U.S. Attorney’s office, Arthur Hayes and Benjamin Delo, who launched BitMEX in 2014, agreed to pay a $10 million fine under the conditions of their plea deal.
“They allowed BitMEX to operate as a platform in the shadows of the financial markets,” Damian Williams, the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York, said in a statement, adding that his office was committed to continuing “the investigation and prosecution of money laundering in the cryptocurrency sector.”
A Delo spokeswoman expressed remorse for the platform’s absence of an acceptable consumer identification scheme.
“This firmly draws a line under the matter. Ben looks forward to focusing his time and energy on his philanthropy,” the spokesperson said.
A spokesperson for Hayes said that he “accepts responsibility for his actions and looks forward to the time when he can put this matter behind him.”
In October 2020, the couple, along with co-founder Samuel Reed and employee Gregory Dwyer, were accused with failing to apply a federally mandated “know your customer” requirement. Prosecutors asserted at the time that BitMEX served as a “vehicle” for money laundering and sanctions crimes.
Reed and Dwyer have entered not guilty pleas.
Reed’s attorneys did not immediately respond to requests for comment by the media. . Dwyer’s counsel also did not comment on the issue.
BitMEX agreed to pay up to $100 million in August 2021 to satisfy separate claims of unlawfully taking client funds to trade bitcoin while it was not registered to do so, as well as failing to complete consumer due diligence.
(Adapted from Paymnys.com)