KazPost

Kazakhstan News
Monday, Jan 30, 2023

US arrests Russian founder of Hong Kong cryptocurrency exchange Bitzlato

US arrests Russian founder of Hong Kong cryptocurrency exchange Bitzlato

Anatoly Legkodymov, who lives in Shenzhen, China was arrested in Miami for allegedly using his business to process US$700 million in illicit funds.
US authorities said on Wednesday they have arrested the majority shareholder and co-founder of Hong Kong-registered virtual currency exchange Bitzlato Ltd for allegedly processing US$700 million in illicit funds.

Anatoly Legkodymov, a Russian national living in China, was arrested in Miami on Tuesday on charges that he operated the exchange as an unlicensed money exchange business that “in his own words, catered to ‘known crooks’”, a top Justice Department official said.

Prosecutors said Bitzlato exchanged more than US$700 million in cryptocurrency with Hydra Market, which they described as an illicit online marketplace for narcotics, stolen financial information, fraudulent identification documents and money laundering services that US and German law enforcement shut down in April 2022.

“Whether you break our laws from China or Europe or abuse our financial system from a tropical island – you can expect to answer for your crimes inside a United States courtroom,” Deputy Attorney General Lisa Monaco told reporters at a news conference at the Justice Department.


Bitzlato also received more than US$15 million in ransomware proceeds, prosecutors said. It was not immediately possible to contact Hydra Market for comment.

Authorities described Legkodymov as the cryptocurrency exchange’s co-founder, saying the 40-year-old Russian helped run the company from the Chinese city of Shenzhen.

Legkodymov did not immediately respond to an email with questions, and messages left on Bitzlato’s automated Telegram support chat service were answered with the phrase: “Oops, sorry.”

Bitzlato has processed US$4.58 billion worth of cryptocurrency transactions since May 3, 2018, prosecutors said, adding a substantial portion constitutes “the proceeds of crime”.

It also broke rules requiring significant vetting of customers and failed to meet requirements aimed at preventing money laundering, authorities said. Archived versions of Bitzlato’s website noted that the site’s clients could register using “only your email”.

The charges were filed in conjunction with the US Treasury Department’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN), which said it has prohibited certain transmittals of funds involving Bitzlato by any covered financial institution after labelling Bitzlato Ltd a “primary money laundering concern” related to Russian illicit finance.

Bitzlato knowingly serviced US customers, conducted transactions with US-based exchanges, was run using US online infrastructure – and, for at least some period of time, was being managed by the defendant while he was in the United States, prosecutors said.

By midday Wednesday, Bitzlato’s website was replaced by a notice saying that the service had been seized by French authorities “as part of a coordinated international law enforcement action”.
Newsletter

Related Articles

KazPost
Close
0:00
0:00
Bill Gates is ‘very optimistic’ about the future: ‘Better to be born 20 years from now...than any time in the past’
Tesla reported record profits and record revenues for 2022
Germany confirms it will provide Ukraine with Leopard 2 tanks
Prince Andrew and Virginia Giuffre Photo Is Fake: Ghislaine Maxwell
Moonwalker Buzz Aldrin Gets Married On His 93rd Birthday
Federal Reserve Probes Goldman’s Consumer Business
China's first population drop in six decades
Microsoft is finalising plans to become the latest technology giant to reduce its workforce during a global economic slowdown
Tesla slashes prices globally by as much as 20 percent
1.4 Million Copies Of Prince Harry's Memoir 'Spare' Sold On 1st Day In UK
After Failing To Pay Office Rent, Twitter May Sell User Names
Lisa Marie Presley, singer and daughter of Elvis, dies aged 54
FIFA president questioned by prosecutors
Britain's Sunak breaks silence and admits using private healthcare
Dirty bomb fears as URANIUM is found in cargo at Heathrow
Hype and backlash as Harry's memoir goes on sale. Unnamed royal source says prince 'kidnapped by cult of psychotherapy and Meghan'
Saudi Arabia set to overtake India as fastest-growing major economy this year 
Google and Facebook’s dominance in digital ads challenged by rapid ascent of Amazon and TikTok
FTX fraud investigators are digging deeper into Sam Bankman-Fried's inner circle – and reportedly have ex-engineer Nishad Singh in their sights
TikTok CEO Plans to Meet European Union Regulators
France has banned the online sale of paracetamol until February, citing ongoing supply issues
Japan reportedly to give families 1 million yen per child to move out of Tokyo
Hong Kong property brokerages slash payrolls in choppy market
U.S. Moves to Seize Robinhood Shares, Silvergate Accounts Tied to FTX
Effect of EU sanctions on Moscow is ‘less than zero’ – Belgian MEP
Dubai announces $8.7 trillion economic plan to boost trade, investment and global hub status
Coinbase to Pay $100 Million in Settlement With New York Regulator
FTX assets worth $3.5bn held by Bahamas securities regulator
A Republican congressman-elect is under investigation in New York after he admitted he lied about his education and work experience.
Brazilian football legend Pele, arguably the greatest player ever, has died at the age of 82.
Hong Kong to scrap almost all its Covid rules
EU calls screening of travellers from China unjustified
US imposes Covid testing for visitors from China
Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskyy Addresses Joint Session of Congress - FULL SPEECH
Where is Rishi? Chancellor Jeremy Hunt's excuses about the UK's economic challenges just don't make sense
Former FTX CEO Bankman-Fried finally arrested in Bahamas after U.S. files charges
Corruption works: House Financial Services Chair Waters doesn't plan to subpoena her donor, Sam Bankman-Fried, to testify at hearing on FTX collapse
Ronaldo's new contract...
Tax fraud verdict again exposes illusion of Trump the master businessman
Tax fraud verdict again exposes illusion of Trump the master businessman.
Double standards: UK lawmakers attack EU chief over Ireland claims
Yellen hints at ‘national security’ probe into Twitter purchase
Elon Musk reinstates Donald Trump's Twitter account.
George W. Bush and Barack Obama will hold back-to-back disinformation conferences
Miss Argentina and Miss Puerto Rico are not single anymore
Boris Johnson is about to sign a contract with an American company to get millions for giving speeches. Something he did until very recently for free.
Solar + Powerwall ensures you never lose power, even if the grid goes down
Bavarian Prime Minister Söder: "There is no reason for mask obligations, no lockdowns anymore”
MSNBC tries to discuss the January 6th events with a focus group
Europeans don't want to starve and freeze for Zelensky and Ursula von der Leyen.
×