[TheRecord] Operator of the Helix bitcoin mixer pleads guilty to money laundering

An Ohio man who was fined $60 million last year for violating anti-money laundering laws pleaded guilty Wednesday to moving hundreds of millions of dollars in cryptocurrency on behalf of dark web marketplaces.

Larry Dean Harmon, 38, admitted to running Helix—a cryptocurrency mixer or tumbler that allowed customers to send bitcoin in a way that concealed their ownership—from 2014 to 2017, according to court documents. Helix partnered with various dark web markets, including AlphaBay, Cloud 9, and Evolution, to provide tumbling services to their customers.

Mixing services generally charge a fee to pool together large amounts of funds from various owners, “mix” the funds together, and distribute it back out to destination addresses, which makes it difficult to trace digital coins back to their original owners. Prosecutors said Helix moved over 350,000 bitcoins, which amounted to more than $300 million at the time of the transactions.

The Treasury Department’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) levied a $60 million civil money penalty against Harmon in October for violations of the Bank Secrecy Act, such as failing to register as a money services business, failing to implement and maintain an effective anti-money laundering program, and failing to report suspicious activities.

Harmon agreed to forfeit more than 4,400 bitcoins (about $200 million) and other seized property as part of his plea agreement. He faces up to 20 years in prison.

“Criminals may think they can mask financial transactions by using services like Helix to conceal the source of illicit funds,” said Calvin Shivers, assistant director of the FBI’s Criminal Investigative Division. “The FBI and our state, local, federal and international law enforcement partners are working together every day in a complex and ever-changing digital environment to protect the American people from sophisticated money launderers and financiers.”

The post Operator of the Helix bitcoin mixer pleads guilty to money laundering appeared first on The Record by Recorded Future.

Source: Read More (The Record by Recorded Future)

You might be interested in …

[ZDNet] Scam artists exploit Kaseya security woes to deploy malware

All posts, ZDNet

The company is being impersonated in the fallout of a recent ransomware attack. Source: Read More (Latest topics for ZDNet in Security)

Read More

[BleepingComputer] Tulsa warns of data breach after Conti ransomware leaks police citations

The City of Tulsa, Oklahoma, is warning residents that their personal data may have been exposed after a ransomware gang published police citations online. […] Source: Read More (BleepingComputer)

Read More

[SecurityWeek] Ongoing Phishing Campaign Targets APAC, EMEA Governments

All posts, Security Week

Government departments in at least 7 countries in the Asia-Pacific (APAC) and Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA) regions have been targeted in a phishing campaign that has been ongoing since spring 2020. read more Source: Read More (SecurityWeek RSS Feed)

Read More

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.