Register on the Bybit exchange and receive a bonus of $4000.
Kryptowaluty

Samourai Wallet co-founder pleads not guilty to money laundering charges and is out on bail

The event highlights the difficulties and controversies surrounding the regulation of cryptocurrencies and the judiciary’s attitude toward the sector.

Date: 2024-04-30 Author: Marek Stiller
Samourai Wallet co-founder pleads not guilty to money laundering charges and is out on bail

Keonne Rodriguez, one of the individuals associated with popular cryptocurrency mixer Samourai Wallet, has filed for acquittal on money laundering charges. The U.S. Department of Justice charged Rodriguez and his associate, William Hill, with various crimes related to their ties to Samourai Wallet.

on April 29, Rodriguez appeared before the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, where he pleaded not guilty to conspiracy to operate an illegal money transfer company and to money laundering charges.

Rodriguez released on $1 million bail

Rodriguez was released on $1 million bail as part of a property bail agreement. However, his movements are now restricted and he must wear a location monitoring device. He will remain primarily at his residence in Harmony, Pennsylvania, with limited travel in parts of New York and Pennsylvania.

Rodriguez’s bail conditions also expressly prohibit him from conducting any activities related to the Samourai wallet or engaging in any cryptocurrency transactions without prior approval. These measures are intended to ensure compliance with legal requirements and prevent the potential continuation of alleged illegal activities.

CTA
Register on ByBit exchange

Meanwhile, William Hill, chief technology officer at Samourai Wallet, was arrested the same day as Rodriguez, but has yet to appear in a US courtroom. Hill’s arrest took place in Portugal, and authorities are currently in the process of extraditing him.

Rodriguez is scheduled to appear in court again on May 14, where the case is expected to develop further. Both face serious consequences if found guilty.

The money laundering charge carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison, while conspiracy to engage in illegal money transfer activities could result in a maximum sentence of five years behind bars.

As part of the ongoing investigation, authorities have already taken control of Samourai Wallet’s servers and domain located in Iceland.

US crackdown on cryptocurrency mixers

The arrests are part of a broader U.S. government crackdown on cryptocurrency mixers that have been linked to facilitating money laundering linked to hacking groups and terrorist organizations.

TheOffice of Foreign Assets Control, which reports to the U.S. Treasury Department, has imposed sanctions on platforms such as Blender and Tornado Cash despite criticism from industry leaders and lawmakers who say such actions could stifle innovation and impede the legitimate use of privacy-enhancing technologies

Last week, the Justice Department denied a motion by Roman Storm, the developer of Tornado Cash, to dismiss criminal charges, arguing that the defense lawsuit presented disputed facts that should be considered by a jury, rather than decided in an early motion.

Storm, along with fellow programmer Roman Semenov, were charged by the Justice Department with conspiracy to launder money and operate an unlicensed money transmitter, and violating sanctions laws by creating and operating Tornado Cash.

U.S. authorities said Tornado Cash was used by criminal entities, including North Korea’s Lazarus Group, to launder money.

CTA
Register on ByBit exchange
Marek Stiller
Marek Stiller
Founder of the "Cryptocurrency for Beginners" channel on YouTube. He collaborates with Łukasz to form the Arena Trading group, while at the same time being passionate about blockchain technology. His knowledge and experience in the cryptocurrency industry help beginner investors better understand this dynamic market.
Register on the Bybit exchange and receive a bonus of $4000.
Get Bonus