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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.

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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