Top Crypto Exchange BitMEX Employee Sentenced on US Charge

A senior employee of cryptocurrency derivatives trading exchange BitMEX was sentenced to 12 months probation in Manhattan federal court on Wednesday after pleading guilty to violating US anti-money laundering rules.

Gregory Dwyer, a 39-year-old Australian, was one of the exchange’s first employees and its former business development manager. US prosecutors alleged that Mr. Dwyer and the founders of the exchange failed to implement anti-money laundering and know-your-customer programs as required by US law.

He pleaded guilty to one count of violating the Bank Secrecy Act in August. Under the plea deal, Mr. Dwyer also agreed to pay a $150,000 fine.

“The government’s heavy-handed approach to Mr. Dwyer’s prosecution is regrettable, and Mr. Dwyer is relieved to have this case behind him and looks forward to moving on with his life, both personally and professionally,” a statement said. Mr. Dwyer’s spokesman said in an email Thursday.

A spokesperson for the Southern District of New York, which brought the charges, confirmed the conviction. Mr. Dwyer himself could not be reached.

Lawyers for Mr Dwyer, in a sentencing brief filed in October, asked the judge to limit the sentence to the criminal fine, according to court documents. They argued that Mr. Dwyer, who joined BitMEX as a full-time employee in 2015, never held a compliance, legal or regulatory position at BitMEX or in his previous work as a commodity trader. derivatives at Deutsche Bank AG and as a financial services consultant. .

Mr Dwyer’s sentencing is the latest development in the US case against the Seychelles-based, Hong Kong-based crypto derivatives exchange.

BitMEX in 2015 announced a withdrawal from the US market, but prosecutors said it had made minimal and ineffective efforts to prevent US-based customers from signing up for BitMEX. Thousands of U.S.-based customers were able to use the service even though they were supposed to be blocked and the controls put in place were a ‘front,’ prosecutors said, adding that BitMEX actually operated as a platform money laundering due to lack of anti-money laundering programs and knowledge of your customer.

BitMEX accepted last year pay 100 million dollars resolve the regulatory lawsuit without admitting or denying the allegations. Three of the company’s co-founders were sentenced to various trial periods Where house arrest over the past year.

Write to Mengqi Sun at [email protected]

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