Police arrested Michael Murglo in Palm Beach, Florida for participating in a scheme to pay bribes to allow the Coin.mx bitcoin exchange gain control of a New Jersey credit union, according to Fortune. Prosecutors claim the scheme stole information on 100 million people.
Murgio, 65, who serves on a Palm Beach County, Florida school board, was indicted in a federal court in Manhattan. He was indicted along with three others, including his son, Anthony Murgio. The Federal Bureau of Investigation arrested Murgio Thursday in Palm Beach, Fla. His attorney did not respond to requests for comment.
Murgio will be arraigned tomorrow, the 26th of April, in New York, where he will hear what the charges against him are, according to WPTV in West Palm Beach, Fla.
Coin.mx was owned by Gery Shalon, an Israeli accused of masterminding a hacking scheme with another Israeli, Ziv Orenstein, and Joshua Aaron, and American. Prosecutors claim the three had operated a criminal enterprise that hacked into a dozen companies’ networks and stole personal data from more than 100 million people. Prosecutors said records of more than 83 million JP Morgan customers were stolen.
The Murgios are not accused of engaging in the hacking offenses, but they committed crimes with co defendants Yuri Lebodev of Florida and Trevon Gross, a New Jersey pastor, in the unlicensed Coin.mx operation.
Starting in 2013 Anthony Murgio ran Coin.mx, which exchanged millions of dollars worth of bitcoin for customers, prosecutors said, while Lebedev supervised the computer programming functions. In 2014, the Murgois and Lebedev gained control of an organization called Helping Other People Excel Federal Credit Union of Jackson, N.J. by paying $150,000 in bribes to its chairman, Gross, the indictment stated. They allegedly did this to evade scrutiny of Coin.mx.
Anthony Murgio, Gross, and Lebedev plead not guilty to the charges and are scheduled to go to trial on October 31st. Anthony Murgio remained free on bond, CNN reported. Extradition proceedings are pending in Israel against Orenstein and Shalon. Aaron remains at large and was believed to be in Eastern Europe as of November.
Murgio’s direct role in the scheme is not clear from reports, but his son Anthony became involved with the credit union after he, and fellow accused Yuri Lebedev failed to deceive major financial institutions to accept funds from Coin.mx by pretending they were running the “collectibles Club,” a members only association of individuals who discussed, bought , and sold collectible items.
Murgio Jr and Lebedev are then alleged to have obtained beneficial control of Helping Other People Excel Federal Credit Union to use as a way to channel funds from Coin.mx through bribery, including the bribery of Trevon Gross, a pastor and former chairman of the credit union. Ultimately their greed got the better of them as a serious increase in funds flowing through the credit union came to the attention of the National Credit Union Administration, who then told authorities that something untoward was going on.