New York — One of the more unusual financial crime stories of the year concerned two men who were charged with operating an illegal Bitcoin exchange through a now-shuttered New Jersey credit union.
As reported by CU Journal in late July, the two suspects — Yuri Lebedev and Anthony Murgio — were arrested by the Federal Bureau of Investigation for allegedly running an unlicensed Bitcoin exchange for the purposes of money laundering.
The two Florida-based men ran a Bitcoin exchange through a phony front-company and a small New Jersey credit union that Murgio took control of for the scheme, according to the FBI.
That credit union was identified as Helping Other People Excel (HOPE) FCU of Jackson, N.J.
The FBI alleged that since late 2013 — and perhaps before that time — the pair operated Coin.mx, a Bitcoin exchange service that enabled co-conspirators and customers to pay a fee to exchange cash for Bitcoins. “In doing so,” an FBI release said, “they knowingly exchanged cash for people whom they believed may be engaging in criminal activity.”
The duo are also said to have exchanged cash for Bitcoins for victims of cyber-attacks involving ransom money. Furthermore, Murgio and Lebedev “knowingly enabled the criminals responsible for