NEW YORK — The CEO of the Bitcoin exchange Coin.mx has plead not guilty to charges of conspiracy and money laundering. Anthony Murgio appeared in federal court on Tuesday denying the accusations that he and his partner Yuri Lebedev used the company in a fraudulent way. Federal prosecutors believe they used the exchange to move large amounts of illicit funds and hack the United States government as well.
“Murgio transferred hundreds of thousands of dollars from bank accounts outside the United States, and caused others to transfer hundreds of thousands of dollars to bank accounts,” — United States Justice Department
Murgio is currently free on bond and is not allowed to talk with any of his Coin.mx associates or money transfer businesses of any kind.
The exchange operator is also accused of one the biggest hacking heists in U.S. history, along with three other individuals. Murgio and cohorts are suspected for compromising nine of the largest financial firms including JPMorgan Chase. The charge of stealing information has been a separate charge and just recently involved other suspects.
The defendant was always known as an online money maker. At his University in Florida, he was a leader in the Phi Sigma Kappa house, and the fraternity raked in a lot of digital cash. Many of the brothers paid their college tuitions by working on Google Ads and making thousands a month. Murgio was arrested at his residence in Florida and will face up to 20 years in federal prison if convicted.
“From October 2013 to at least in or about July 2015, in the Southern District of New York and elsewhere, Anthony Murgio, the defendant, willfully failed to report suspicious transactions,”
— United States Justice Department
Federal officials believe Anthony Murgio and his partner enabled Coin.mx to acquire cash in exchange for the cryptocurrency. The company traded close to $2 million USD from its inception in 2013. According to prosecutors, not only did they move money around, but they also failed to report suspicious activity. Judge Eun Young Choi is presiding over this case, and Murgio has let his lawyer Gregory W. Kehoe do most of the talking. Legal experts have claimed that, in addition to money laundering, the group also used the financial breaches they are accused of to manipulate the stock market. Through inside information gained from the supposed hacking, the men were able to create large pumps and dumps within certain markets.
Murgio has plead not guilty to all three counts and will remain on bail until further trial commences. The indictment against him concerning his exchange has led people to believe he scammed many users with a kind of members-only scheme. The Justice Department report reads: “It was a part and an object of the conspiracy that Anthony R. Murgio, the defendant, and others known and unknown, unlawfully, willfully and knowingly would and did conduct, control, manage, and supervise, direct and own all and parts of an unlicensed money transmitting business, to wit, Coin.mx, d/b/a ‘Collectors Club,’ d/b/a ‘Currency Enthusiasts.’” Murgio has claimed innocence from the beginning, and says he ran a perfectly legitimate exchange system. Bitcoin.com will watch as this case develops and keep our readers informed of the trial outcome.
What do you think of the Coin.mx trial? Do you feel they committed crimes? Let us know in the comments below!
Images courtesy of Pixbay, and Redmemes