The Binance cryptocurrency exchange, the Hydra darknet marketplace, and the Finiko financial pyramid are among the top three receiving counterparties of the Bitzlato exchange platform, which the US authorities accuse of laundering $ 700 million. This is stated in order FinCEN.
According to the agency, these three companies from May 2018 to September 2022 received the largest number of bitcoins from Bitzlato.
During the same period, Hydra, P2P platform LocalBitcoins and Finiko were among the top three sending counterparties.
“Approximately two-thirds of Bitzlato’s top receiving and sending counterparties are associated with darknet marketplaces or fraud,” FinCEN noted.
A spokesperson for Binance said the exchange is ready to provide law enforcement with “substantial assistance” in the investigation.
FinCEN called Bitzlato “the main money laundering enterprise”. According to the order, the platform is prohibited from transferring funds to any financial institutions, as it played a key role in processing illegal transactions of ransomware operators in the Russian Federation.
In addition, Bitzlato’s transactional activity “shows a significant connection with illegal counterparties,” such as darknet marketplaces and scammers from the Russian Federation, the department added.
Recall that on January 18, the Bitzlato team announced a hack and the withdrawal of part of the funds. A few hours later, the platform announced the suspension of the service.
On the evening of January 17, the US Department of Justice arrested Anatoly Legkodymov, the founder of the platform, on charges of laundering $700 million related to Hydra.
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