Gary Harmon covertly transferred the Bitcoin from his brother's hardware wallet — despite the fact that it had been seized by law enforcement.
A man who once posed in a bathtub filled with dollars has pleaded guilty to stealing 712 Bitcoin.
Gary Harmon, a 31-year-old from Ohio, had swiped the crypto stash — despite the fact it was being seized by law enforcement during a criminal prosecution.
The BTC was in the process of being confiscated from his brother Larry, who has since been convicted of operating the money laundering service Helix.
Harmon is due to be sentenced in March, could face up to 20 years behind bars.
Helix was a coin mixer that helped to obfuscate the senders and recipients of cryptocurrencies. An estimated 350,000 BTC was laundered through the service, with most of these funds coming from darknet markets.
Investigators had seized a hardware wallet containing Larry Harmon's profits at the time of his arrest, but were unable to access the funds because of the device's added security features.
It later emerged that Gary Harmon had used his brother's credentials to recreate the Bitcoin wallets stored on the device, and transfer the digital assets to his own wallets.
This 712 BTC was worth $4.8 million at the time, and would be valued at over $12 million at current market rates.
According to the U.S. Department of Justice, Gary Harmon then laundered the stolen Bitcoin through other coin mixers — and then made a series of large purchases.
Following the guilty plea, he has agreed to surrender 647 BTC, alongside 2 ETH and 17.4 million DOGE.