U.S. authorities charged an Ohio man for allegedly operating a Bitcoin-laundering service that moved US$300-million worth of cryptocurrency.
The Department of Justice (DoJ) announced that Larry Harmon, 36, was charged with money laundering conspiracy, operating an unlicensed money-transmitting business and conducting money transmission without a licence. He is presumed innocent.
According to an indictment that was filed in a D.C. court, Harmon operated Helix, “a Darknet-based cryptocurrency laundering service” between 2014 and 2017.
The indictment alleged that Helix laundered more than 350,000 Bitcoin, valued at US$300 million at the time.
“Helix functioned as a bitcoin ‘mixer’ or ‘tumbler,’ allowing customers, for a fee, to send bitcoin to designated recipients in a manner that was designed to conceal the source or owner of the bitcoin,” the DoJ said. Helix was advertised as a way to conceal transactions from law enforcement, it said.
“Helix allegedly laundered hundreds of millions of dollars of illicit narcotics proceeds and other criminal profits for Darknet users around the globe,” said Brian Benczkowski, assistant attorney general.