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The founders of Samourai Wallet were arrested

US Federal Attorney's Office brought charges to the founders of the anonymous Bitcoin wallet Samourai Wallet in facilitating the laundering of $100 million in criminal proceeds. The CEO of the service, Keonn Rodriguez, was arrested on the morning of April 24 in the United States. CTO William Lonergan Hill has been detained in Portugal and his extradition is being decided.

Rodriguez and Hill operated an unlicensed money transmitting business from 2015 to February 2024, authorities said. During their activity, they processed anonymous transactions worth $2 billion.

Samourai Wallet handled funds from sanctioned individuals, various cybercriminals, and darknet marketplaces including Silk Road and Hydra, US prosecutors allege.

With the assistance of Icelandic law enforcement agencies, the servers and domain of Samourai (https://samourai.io/) were arrested. In addition, a warrant was issued for the arrest of a mobile wallet application in the Google Play store – it had over 100,000 downloads.

Focused on increased privacy, the Bitcoin wallet Samourai Wallet provided users with a number of services to hide the origin of assets and obfuscate the chain of transaction recipients.

In 2019, the developers integrated the Whirlpool feature into the wallet, which is part of the broader CoinJoin anonymization solution. It made it possible to mathematically separate inputs (senders) from outputs (recipients), thereby complicating the process of tracking the movement of funds.

Regulators around the world are tightening their rhetoric towards cryptocurrency mixers. In particular, FinCEN plans to declare them “money laundering centers” that threaten US national security.

In November 2023, California-based Bitcoin platform Swan Bitcoin warned users via email that they would be permanently banned for directly using cryptomixers.

In March 2024, a jury in the United States found Russian Roman Sterlingov involved in managing the cryptomixer Bitcoin Fog and laundering more than $400 million. He faces up to 20 years in prison.

Source: Cryptocurrency

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