Cryptocurrency mixing is an illegal activity that allows investors to hide their ill-gotten capital by adding other coins into a fund. These types of services are normally offered on the dark web. Due to the limitations of law enforcement in the crypto industry, most of these criminals can get away with their crimes. However, the owner of a Bitcoin mixer called Helix recently pleaded guilty to criminal charges.
Larry Dean Harmon is an Ohio resident who is also an owner of the said services and offered Bitcoin mixing options on the darknet. He has been operating the store underground since 2014. The 36-years old criminal mastermind was apprehended by police in 2020.
Harmon will also Pay $50,000 in Legal Fines
The prosecutors at the Department of Justice called for severe repercussions for the main threat actor of the case. Harmon is now facing three years behind bars with a chance for bail with supervision after this period. He is also liable to pay for the restitution that has been made mandatory by the court order. He can choose to pay $50,000 in legal fines or twice the value of the property that he utilized in fraudulent dealings.
His plea bargain application is also included with a forfeiture request of at least 4,400 Bitcoin units. At the current evaluation, this amount is valued above $200 million. The court is going to seize any property or land that was part of his money laundering business. Assistant Director for Criminal Investigation Division at FBI, Calvin A. Shivers, claims that more bad actors in the USA are going to see more cases getting prosecuted in the court of law.
Harmon used the famous dark web trading store called AlphaBay to set up his shop. The main objective of this service was to provide dangerous criminals and bad actors with a way to conceal their financial records from law enforcement authorities. According to a criminal report by DoJ, Helix processed over 354,468 BTC, valued at $15.9 billion to date.
Steven M.D’Antuono is the Assistant Director at the FBI. He commented that Harmon accepted the charges to conspire alongside dark web criminals. He further added that this was made possible due to the commitment of FBI investigators to bring justice to the citizens. The Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) of the United States also imposed a $60 million penalty on Harmon last year in October.