Crypto exchange Poloniex to pay $7.6 million for violating US sanctions

Trading platform Poloniex will pay a $7.6 million fine to settle allegations of violating US sanctions. United States Department of the Treasury Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) reported that the parties have reached an agreement on this matter.

The regulator explained that the fine will help settle a civil lawsuit against Poloniex, which accuses the company of alleged violations of US sanctions on Crimea, Cuba, Iran, Sudan and Syria. in the amount of more than $15 million from January 2014 to November 2019, according to OFAC.

Poloniex’s violation was that the marketplace team did not properly vet users who registered on the exchange from early 2014 until the implementation of the sanctions compliance program in May 2015.

At the same time, the exchange had sufficiently accurate customer identification tools and systems for determining IP addresses, so the company most likely knew that it was servicing users from prohibited jurisdictions. IP addresses have been tracked since 2015, with banned addresses not being blocked until 2017.

Last year, the Tornado Cash cryptocurrency mixer was sanctioned by the US Treasury. OFAC considered that since the launch of Tornado Cash in 2019, the attackers have laundered more than $7 billion worth of cryptocurrencies through it. Moreover, more than $455 million of them are associated with the activities of the North Korean hacker group Lazarus Group.

Tornado Cash was allegedly involved in the laundering of more than $96 million received by criminals from the Harmony heist in June 2022. The service was also used to launder $7.8 million stolen as a result of the Nomad cross-chain protocol hack at the beginning of August 2022.

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