A Russian tycoon was arrested in Miami for transferring more than $700 million in cryptocurrency from illicit funds
Anatoly Legkodymov, who is a resident of China, is accused of running a money transfer business without having a license
Soledad CedroFrom Miami, Florida, United States< i class="i-share-btn telegram">
Cryptocurrency photo illustration . August 10, 2022. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic
Miami authorities arrested the main owner and founder of a global cryptocurrency transfer system after he allegedly helped move more than $700 million in illicit proceeds, according to the Justice Department.
Anatoly Legkodymov, 40, is a Russian citizen who lives in China, is now accused of operating a money transfer business without having a license to do so. This is the company Bitzlato Ltd., a Hong Kong-based cryptocurrency transfer company, which US authorities say has minimal identification requirements. These types of companies are the perfect place for the transfer of funds of illicit origin since users are not even required to have a photo or a document to operate on the platform.
Miami court carried out the investigation REUTERS/Marco Bello
The company was known for frequently working together with Hydra Market, an exchange known for being large in what is known as the darknet -that area of the Internet with difficult access and not controlled. Hydra Market was shut down in April 2022, following allegations that it was used for drug sales, hacking services, and the sale of personal information. This company's partnership with Bitzlato served as the basis for the allegations against Legkodymov.
The Justice Department also filed charges against Legkodymov and his company for failing to provide the minimum filters to prevent money laundering or preventing their users from being insiders in illegal businesses such as the sale of drugs.
“Today's actions send a clear message: It doesn't matter if they are breaking the rules from China or from Europe, or abusing our financial system from a tropical island. You can expect the United States to come to you and demand an explanation in court,” Lisa Mónaco, deputy attorney general, said in a statement.
According to In the lawsuit, there are statements from former Bitzlato employees and those close to Legkodymov who say that the businessman was aware of the illegal activities that were carried out using his platform.
In case if found guilty, Legkodymov could face up to five years in prison. At this point it is not public knowledge if the Russian citizen has a legal representative in the United States to represent him.
Many consider that the lack of regulation in the cryptocurrency market it gives rise to illegal activities, which the United States has already said it will not tolerate.