Cryptocurrency exchange BitMEX has pleaded guilty to violating the US Bank Secrecy Act and willfully failing to implement an anti-money laundering (AML) program.

As US Attorney for the Southern District of New York Damian Williams said, this highlights the need for all crypto exchanges to comply with US law if they want to continue to take advantage of the US market.

“During its operations in the US, BitMEX became a vehicle for large-scale money laundering and sanctions evasion schemes, posing a serious threat to the integrity of the financial system,” Damian Williams explained.

According to FBI Assistant Director Christy Curtis, BitMEX’s top management deliberately violated the law to increase the company’s profits.

The exchange was required to implement and operate an AML program that required Know Your Customer (KYC) verification, but chose not to do so, requiring customers to simply provide email addresses to operate, Curtis said.

Recall that the exchange faced legal problems in 2022. At that time, the prosecutor’s office demanded that former head of development Greg Dwyer be sentenced to a year in prison for violating the US Bank Secrecy Act. One of the founders of BitMEX Arthur Hayes received six months of house arrest after pleading guilty.

Earlier, the New York District Court ruled that the management of the BitMEX crypto exchange artificially liquidated users’ positions.