Evidence submitted by the U.S. includes an internal chat where Anatoly Legkodymov told a colleague that Bitzlato's users were "known to be crooks."
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A crypto exchange has been charged with laundering more than $700 million — prompting its Russian founder to be arrested in Miami.
According to the U.S. Justice Department, Bitzlato requires minimal identification from users — and these lax Know Your Customer procedures made it "a haven for criminal proceeds."
Senior executive Anatoly Legkodymov is now facing charges, amid allegations he enabled bad actors to profit from ransomware and drug trafficking.
Deputy Attorney General Lisa Monaco said the arrest deals "a significant blow to the crypto ecosystem" — adding:
"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."
This "tropical" island reference may very well be a not-so-subtle dig at Sam Bankman-Fried, who is facing legal headaches of his own following the collapse of FTX.
It's claimed that Legkodymov was aware that Bitzlato accounts "were rife with illicit activity" — and many users were not using their real names.
Evidence submitted by the U.S. includes an internal chat where he told a colleague that Bitzlato's users were "known to be crooks."
It's also alleged that he was repeatedly warned that addicts and drug traffickers were among the exchange's customer base.