Following his arrest last month, alleged illegal bitcoin exchange operator Anthony Murgio is out on bail with a $100K bond. Murgio has been charged for operating Coin.mx in New York without having the proper regulatory licenses.
The terms of Murgio’s bail also state that he is not to communicate with anyone else involved in Coin.mx. His partner in the bitcoin exchange, Yuri Lebedev, was also arrested last month and was released on a $25K bond.
Illegal Bitcoin Exchange
Apart from not obtaining the necessary regulatory approval for his bitcoin exchange, Murgio is also under investigation for his alleged involvement in the JPMorgan Chase hacking incident which left several thousands of client accounts vulnerable. However, the FBI has declined to provide further details on how Murgio might be connected to this attack.
Murgio and Lebedev are currently charged with ne count of conspiracy to operate an unlicensed money transmitting business and one count of operating an unlicensed money transmitting business. Murgio also has charges of one count of money laundering and one count of wilful failure to file a suspicious activity report. If he is convicted, he could be facing up to 20 years in prison.
Coin.mx has reportedly facilitated transactions among criminals, according to authorities. According to the allegations, Murgio’s bitcoin exchange business transferred at least $1.8 million on behalf of tens of thousands of customers between October 2013 and January 2015.
Bitcoin transactions are typically preferred by those engaged in illegal dealings, as these are untraceable and irreversible. Payment verification takes place through a network of computers solving complex algorithms to update the distributed public ledger known as the blockchain.
The bail terms for Murgio have been set by U.S Magistrate Judge James Francis in Manhattan yesterday after Murgio appeared in court. The terms also indicate that he can travel from Florida and New York to seek employment in the meantime.