Arthur Hayes to be sentenced today

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Today, May 20, in a federal court in New York, a verdict will be delivered in the case of Arthur Hayes, the former CEO of the BitMEX crypto exchange. In February, he pleaded guilty to deliberately failing to implement an anti-money laundering (AML) program on the trading floor, reports RBC Crypto with reference to coindesk.

Prosecutors allege BitMEX’s lack of know-your-customer (KYC) requirements has allowed the company to thrive as a “hotbed of criminal activity,” including money laundering and sanctions evasion.

Hayes and his BitMEX co-founders Samuel Reed and Ben Del, as well as the company’s first employee Gregory Dwyer, were charged in October 2020 with violating the Bank Secrecy Act (BSA) and conspiring to do so.

All four, as well as BitMEX and other entities, have faced civil lawsuits from the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) and the Financial Crimes Enforcement Agency (FinCEN). BitMEX was ordered to pay $100 million to regulators; Hayes, Reid and Delu were fined more than $10 million each.

In the May 20 criminal case, the maximum sentence is five years, but Hayes’ plea deal with prosecutors reduced the possible prison term to 6 to 12 months.

Hayes, a US citizen who lived in Singapore, turned himself in to US authorities in Hawaii last April but was released on $10 million bail.

Prosecutors allege that Hayes flaunted BitMEX’s disregard for KYC and AML principles by touting the company’s non-compliance on the exchange’s website, as well as in blog posts and media interviews.

“The defendant chose to use his influence to promote a vision for the crypto industry that was directly against the law and was calculated to undermine government regulations. He regularly criticized and ridiculed KYC requirements and made it clear that he had no interest in complying with them,” prosecutors said.

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Source: Cryptocurrency

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