Head of a cryptocurrency platform admits his involvement in suspicious deals | Hundreds of millions of dollars

Former CEO of cryptocurrency platform Bitzlato, Anatoly Legkudimov, has pleaded guilty to federal charges over his role in illegally transporting and transferring illicit funds worth hundreds of millions of dollars.

The US Department of Justice confirmed that Legkudimov, founder of the cryptocurrency platform Bitzlato, admitted to running an unlicensed money transfer company before a federal court in Brooklyn this week.

The Justice Department accused Bitzlato of becoming a destination for illicit proceeds and funds, due to it not implementing proper know-your-customer (KYC) procedures.

It was also alleged that the exchange facilitated crypto asset transactions worth more than $700 million with users of the drug marketplace Hydra Market which was shut down in April 2022.

Hydra Market was Bitzlato’s largest cryptocurrency handler, an online marketplace for drugs, criminal funds, fake identities, and money laundering services, and was the largest and longest-running darknet market in the world.

Legkudimov was arrested in January when US authorities targeted Bitzlato on money laundering charges.

Today’s guilty plea by Legkudimov confirms that he was fully aware that Bitzlato, the cryptocurrency exchange he founded, was being used as a vehicle for illegal financial crimes by criminals seeking to take advantage of its weak controls in illicit financial transactions.

US Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, Breon Pace.

The accused may have believed that he was working from a haven abroad for his information-sharing platform, but this trial and conviction confirm the opposite.

As part of the plea deal, Legkodimov agreed to dissolve Bitzlato and release any claim worth more than $23 million in seized assets on the platform.

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