The U.S. Department of Justice and the Treasury Department made an announcement today regarding a combined enforcement action that will be taken against an international cryptocurrency corporation. The Hong Kong-registered cryptocurrency trading platform known as Bitzlato is the subject of this investigation. The announcement comes at a time when the cryptocurrency industry is experiencing significant upheaval, particularly in relation to the demise of the formerly dominant cryptocurrency exchange FTX.
According to Deputy Attorney General Lisa Monaco, the Hong Kong-based platform Bitzlato has been disrupted by U.S. authorities, and the platform’s founder, Anatoly Legkodymov, has been arrested. This brings an end to the platform’s persistent catering to known criminal activity linked to Russia. Monaco was outlining coordinated enforcement actions that also included the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the United States Treasury Department. Monaco characterized the operation as the most significant one taken to date against a crypto criminal network.
The U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of New York was quoted as saying:
To anyone who still believes that they can hide from the law by using cryptocurrency, this prosecution should put that illusion to rest.
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The government claimed that BitZlato provided power to darknet marketplaces and assisted in the process of ransomware assaults, which amounted to over 700 million dollars in unlawful transactions, both directly and indirectly, between the years 2018 & 2022. Similar to the case with the majority of larger exchanges, the fact that the platform accepted very little in the way of personally identifying information from its users made it appealing to criminals.
Anatoly Legkodymov, the Russian kingpin was taken into custody on Tuesday evening in Miami on allegations that he ran a money transmission company which did not comply with anti-money laundering laws and transported illegal funds. On Wednesday afternoon, the 40-year-old crypto mogul, who currently resides in China will be brought before the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida to face the criminal charges.
“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”, said Deputy Attorney General Lisa Monaco.
The announcement came on Wednesday noon, led by the Deputy Attorney General of the United States, Lisa Monaco, who presided over a press conference along with the Associate Deputy Director of the FBI Brian Turner, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of New York Breon Peace, Assistant Attorney General Kenneth Polite of the Department of Justice’s criminal division, and Deputy Treasury Secretary Wally Adeyemo.
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Pratik has been a crypto evangelist since 2016 & been through almost all that crypto has to offer. Be it the ICO boom, bear markets of 2018, Bitcoin halving to till now - he has seen it all.
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