Anatoly Legkodymov, the founder of Bitzlato, a cryptocurrency exchange, was caught by police in Miami in January. He’s accused of helping criminals launder over 700 million dollars using his trading platform. However, he denies doing anything wrong.
“From Russia with Money”
Anatoly Legkodymov, the one who created Bitzlato (a crypto exchange linked to Russia), appeared in a US court on Tuesday. The judge told him he can’t leave and won’t be allowed to post bail because people think he laundered money illegally through the Bitzlato platform – but Anatoly denied it.
A person from Russia who lives in China was taken into custody by the FBI while in Miami on the 17th of January. They accused them of exchanging money without the necessary permits and running an exchange registered in Hong Kong that did not have enough safety measures to prevent illegal funds amounting to 700 million dollars from going through.
The money is supposedly connected with lots of illegal activities and people, like hackers and drug dealers. For example, the most famous darknet market called Hydra (connected to Russia) was shut down in April when the servers were taken by Germany. Also, the biggest cryptocurrency scam in Russia called Finiko.
At the end of January, four people from Bitzlato’s team were arrested in Europe. Anton Shkurenko, one of the co-founders, was also questioned and released by Russian authorities a month after that.
In an interview before this happened, Anton declared that they will be transferring their operations to Russia and partly restore withdrawals even if French police have taken the hot wallet away.
Recently, an online exchange called Bitzlato announced they will start processing withdrawals of customer funds. They were offline for a while because investigators from France had shut down their website. Europol estimated that Bitzlato had swapped money worth $1 billion which may have been involved in some dodgy activities.
Do you think there will be more people arrested or accused regarding the Bitzlato case? Share your opinions on this in the comments section below!