The US Treasury Department's Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) today announced the first sentence against cryptocurrency services, Helix and Coin Ninja.
FinCEN fined Larry Dean Harmon, founder and operator of Helix and Coin Ninja cryptocurrency tumblers, $ 60 million for violating the Banking Secrecy Act (BSA) and regulations while operating the two services as businesses unregistered money (MSB).
Harmon was the operator of the Helix bitcoin tumbler between 2014 and 2017 and the operator and CEO (Message) of Coin Ninja from 2017 to 2020.
356.000 bitcoin transactions in three years
"FinCEN's investigation has revealed that Mr Harmon deliberately violated the requirements registration, program and reporting by the BSA, failing to register as an MSB, failed to implement and maintain an effective program against rinsing of revenue from illegal activities and did not report any suspicious activity, "FinCEN said today.
Harmon advertised the services of the two bitcoin mixing companies "on the dark web marketplaces" as secure and anonymous ways of "paying for things like drugs, arms and child pornography ”.
"From June 6, 2014 to December 16, 2017 or so, Mr. Harmon, who operated through Helix, made more than 1.225.000 transactions for customers and is associated with virtual wallet addresses currency who have sent or received more than $ 311 million, ”according to FinCEN estimates.
"FinCEN has detected at least 356.000 bitcoin transactions through Helix between June 2014 and December 2017."
The largest volume of cryptocurrencies "laundered" through Helix tumbler came from illegal dark web markets, including AlphaBay, Dream Market, Agora Market, Nucleus and many others.
Harmon is also currently being prosecuted for money laundering conspiracy and operating business without permission, BleepingComputer reported in February.