February 5, 2023
Have you ever heard of the cryptocurrency exchange Bitzlato? Have you ever traded on the platform? If so, then it might shock you to learn that the founder and majority owner of that exchange was recently arrested in mid-January.
According to reports, 40-year-old Anatoly Legkodymov was arrested as he was visiting Miami. According to the U.S. Justice Department, the Russian national is accused of operating his cryptocurrency exchange without implementing the anti-money laundering safeguards that are required to meet U.S. regulations.
While the suspect does not reside in America but in Shenzhen, the People’s Republic of China, his arrest sends a clear message – you can expect to get arrested if you abuse the US financial system even if you’re not a resident of the country.
According to the Justice Department, the suspect’s failure to implement the proper safeguards enabled criminals to profit from illegal activities like trafficking drugs and pulling off ransomware attacks. The cryptocurrency exchange reportedly required very minimal identification to use the platform, which made it possible for users to be somewhat anonymous while using the exchange. Even worse, the suspect is accused of marketing the platform specifically for that purpose and even going so far as to say that the platform didn’t require any selfies or passports.
Per the Justice Department, cryptocurrency institutions are not above the law. The suspect has been charged with conducting an unlicensed money transmitting business. He could face up to five years in prison.
Defending Yourself Against Cryptocurrency Crimes
Cryptocurrency exchanges are considered legal in the United States. That being said, regulation of these exchanges is constantly evolving both nationally and around the globe. In order to remain compliant with these rapidly changing cryptocurrency regulations, it might be best to have a legal representative on call who is well-versed in cryptocurrency laws if you’re a cryptocurrency exchange founder, creator, or owner.
Even if you only dabble in cryptocurrency occasionally, you want to make sure that everything you’re doing is legal. If you do get accused of committing a cryptocurrency-related crime, then your freedom is at risk. There are several different types of cryptocurrency crimes including money laundering, terrorism financing, facilitating or supporting cybercrime, identity theft, and more.
If you’re facing this type of crime, then you need a skilled legal representative by your side, especially if you’re a foreign resident who has been arrested in the United States. Here at Bukh Global, we can help you navigate the process. Schedule a consultation with us now to learn more about your options.