The founders of crypto exchange platform BitMex are pleading guilty to violating a law that requires financial institutions to assist government agencies in detecting money laundering.
According to a new U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) press release, BitMex executives Arthur Hayes and Benjamin Delo plead guilty today to violating the Bank Secrecy Act by willfully failing to establish anti-money laundering protocols on the embattled exchange platform.
Says U.S. Attorney Damian Williams,
“Arthur Hayes and Benjamin Delo built a company designed to flout [their obligations]; they willfully failed to implement and maintain even basic anti-money laundering policies.
They allowed BitMEX to operate as a platform in the shadows of the financial markets. Today’s guilty pleas reflect this Office’s continued commitment to the investigation and prosecution of money laundering in the cryptocurrency sector.”
Both Hayes and Delo have agreed to pay $10 million criminal fines as a result.
The guilty pleas come after BitMex itself negotiated a staggering $100,000,000 settlement last year with the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC).
The CFTC found that BitMex was unlawfully accepting orders and funds from US customers to trade crypto assets while they were operating outside of the United States.
FinCEN accused the crypto exchange platform of operating with inadequate anti-money laundering protocols and customer identification measures.
“From approximately 2014 through 2020, BitMEX allowed customers to access its platform and conduct derivative trading without appropriate customer due diligence – collecting only an email address and failing to verify customer identity.”
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