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BitMEX Founders Plead Guilty To Violating Bank Secrecy Act

The founders of BitMEX, Arthur Hayes and Benjamin Delo have pleaded guilty to violating the Bank Secrecy Act.

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Photo by Christian Wiediger / Unsplash

The founders of BitMEX, a cryptocurrency exchange, have pleaded guilty to the violation of the Bank Secrecy Act as they failed to establish an anti-money laundering program, said the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Manhattan on Thursday.

Arthur Hayes and Benjamin Delo, both of whom founded BitMEX back in 2014, have each agreed to pay a $10 million fine under the terms of their plea agreement, per the U.S. Attorney’s office.

“They allowed BitMEX to operate as a platform in the shadows of the financial markets,” said Damian Williams, the U.S. Attorney of the Southern District of New York, in a statement. he also added that his office was committed to continuing “the investigation and prosecution of money laundering in the cryptocurrency sector.”

On Thursday, a spokesperson for Delo stated his deep regrets regarding the platforms’ lack of an adequate customer identification program. The spokesperson said that “This firmly draws a line under the matter. Ben looks forward to focusing his time and energy on his philanthropy.”

Speaking on behalf of Hayes, a spokesperson stated that he “accepts responsibility for his actions and looks forward to the time when he can put this matter behind him.”

The 2 founders were both charged along with co-founder Samuel Reed as well as Gregory Dwyer, an employee back in October 2020 with the charge of failing to implement a KYC or “Know Your Customer” requirement which was mandatory by federal law. Prosecutors also stated at the time that BitMEX had indeed made itself a “vehicle” for money laundering as well as sanctions violations.

Both, Reed and Dwyer pleaded not guilty to those charges.

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