While there is a dark side of bitcoin that many people take advantage of in order to carry out illegal activities and issue payments for them, most of the currency’s users can be considered clean. A rare and interesting event happened today as a couple of arrests of prominent community members on the crypto-market were carried out by the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
To kick things off, Coin.mx, the popular exchange that was taken down a couple of months ago gets yet another hit, as two main partners in its management were arrested over at their homes in Florida, US by the FBI. They are reportedly being accused of operating the exchange without getting a valid license and following the laws against money laundering proposed by the United States Treasury Department. Prosecutors argue that Anthony Murgio and Yuri Lebedev operated the Bitcoin exchange company for a couple of years and, thus laundering over $1.8 million for thousands of customers from all around the world. Of course, the exchange also helped thousands of other people to carry out legal transactions, regardless of the fact that the exchange did not get the proper licenses to operate in the United States.
Unfortunately for the partners, this isn’t the only accusation that they are facing. With this in mind, they were also accused of helping some fugitives and some high ranking criminals engaging in illegal activities to exchange and launder US dollars into Bitcoin and vice-versa.
The accusations don’t end here, as the group has also been investigated for developing a computer malware which would block access to infected computers until a certain sum of bitcoin was sent to a specified address. According to a report that has been issued by the FBI, it looks like Murgio faces 35 years in prison whereas Lebedev faces around a decade in jail.
With everything that has been outlined so far in mind, many Bitcoin freedom activists are arguing that the two partners cannot be arrested as Bitcoin is not officially considered a currency by the US Government. However, if the allegations that the two took part in money laundering events are true, then they are subject to the US laws concerning this felony. Let’s not forget that they’re also being accused of sharing data with hackers and creating computer viruses.
Other than this, it looks like the FBI is hard at work when it comes down to investigating those involved in the Bitcoin market, to make sure that laws are not broken or bent.
Based on everything that has been outlined so far, what do you personally think about Murgio’s and Lebedev’s arrests? Let us know your thoughts in the comment section below.