BitMEX founders Arthur Hayes, Ben Delo plead guilty to defying AML rules

BitMEX founders plead guilty to defying AML rules, each to pay $10 million criminal fine

Founders of crypto exchange BitMEX Arthur Hayes, Ben Delo pled guilty to violations of the United States Bank Secrecy Act, US Department of Justice (DOJ) announced on Thursday.

They were accused of failing to establish and implement anti-money laundering provisions in their operation of the crypto exchange.

Under the plea agreement, Hayes and Delo each agreed to pay $10 million criminal fine.

bitmex investigation

US Attorney Damian Williams said:

As cryptocurrencies and technologies designed to facilitate their trade proliferate, companies engaged in the virtual currency economy have become critical gatekeepers in efforts to ensure that U.S. markets are fair, efficient, and secure. The opportunities and advantages of operating in the United States are legion, but they carry with them the obligation for those businesses to do their part to help in driving out crime and corruption.

Arthur Hayes and Benjamin Delo built a company designed to flout those obligations; they willfully failed to implement and maintain even basic anti-money laundering policies.  They allowed BitMEX to operate as a platform in the shadows of the financial markets. Today’s guilty pleas reflect this Office’s continued commitment to the investigation and prosecution of money laundering in the cryptocurrency sector.

The DOJ and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) brought charges against BitMEX and its founders, Hayes and Delo, in 2020. The CFTC settled the charges last year with a $100 million penalty.

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