Founder of Liberty Reserve, Arthur Budovsky, pleaded guilty to one count of conspiring to commit money laundering before U.S. District Judge Denise L. Cote. The laundered amount was more than $250 million. His sentencing is scheduled to take place on May 6 where he faces up to 20 years in prison. Bloomberg reported that this is because of a plea deal he took, without it he would’ve faced life in prison.
Vladimir Kats, Azzeddine El Amine, Mark Marmilev and Maxim Chukharev, who were also indicted have already pleaded guilty. The last two, Marmilev and Chukharev were sentenced to 5 years and 3 years in prison. There were two others who were indicted, presumably Ahmed Yassine Abdelghani and Allan Esteban Hidalgo Jimenez, but they remain at large and are fugitives.
Budovsky was arrested in Spain in May 2013 and was finally extradited to the U.S. in 2014.
According to the indictment, near the end of 2006, after being sentenced to 5 years of probation (the sentencing was originally 5 years in prison) for running Gold Age as an unlicensed money transmitting business, Budovsky fled the U.S. to Costa Rica to build a new digital currency, Liberty Reserve.
In 2010, Budovsky