Former BitMEX CEO Arthur Hayes surrenders six months after being accused

Arthur Hayes, the former CEO of cryptocurrency exchange platform BitMEX, has surrendered himself in Hawaii to the US authorities and appeared in court on Tuesday. Hayes faces charges suggesting that he did not take necessary action in preventing his innovative start-up from becoming a platform for money laundering crimes. Hayes’ surrender comes six months after New York-based federal prosecutors first accused him.

After turning himself in, Singapore resident Hayes appeared in a Honolulu court in front of a federal judge. This took place following an earlier agreement, and Hayes was soon released on a US$10 million bond in anticipation of future court proceedings, which are due to take place in New York. Hayes, alongside co-founders of BitMEX, have been accused of conspiring to avoid US laws that require money-laundering controls on such businesses.

His lawyers said in a statement:

Arthur Hayes is a self-made entrepreneur who has been wrongly accused of crimes that he did not commit. Mr. Hayes voluntarily appeared in court and looks forward to fighting these unwarranted charges.

bitmex investigation

Alongside Arthur Hayes, charges were also made against co-founders Ben Delo, Samuel Reed and Greg Dwyer. Each of them was accused of violating the Bank Secrecy Act, as well as the conspiracy to violate the act as a group. Each of these offences will carry a maximum sentence of five years of prison time.

Founders and co-founders were found to have purposefully registered their business to  Seychelles to avoid US regulations but still attempted to serve US-based clients. Prosecutors stated that allowing US customers to trade on the platform would have required CFTC registration to complete the necessary anti-laundering steps, which the company did not do.

Delo vowed to fight charges when he turned himself in around March 2021, while Reed was arrested back in October last year when the charges were first unveiled. Delo stated that the charges made against himself and his colleagues were an overreach from the US authorities. Both Delo and Reed were released on bond after pleading not guilty, while  Gregory Dwyer, also accused, is still yet to turn himself in.

Gregory Dwyer’s lawyers stated:

(Mr. Dwyer) has every intention to defend himself in court against these meritless charges and is eager to do so.

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