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Federal Prosecutors Charge Samurai Wallet Founders with Money Laundering

Finance Magnates

Cryptocoins News / Finance Magnates 50 Views

Federal prosecutors charged Samurai Wallet founders, Keonne Rodriguez and William Lonergan Hill, with conspiracy to commit money laundering yesterday (Wednesday), marking another development in the US government's ongoing efforts to address the use of crypto mixing tools potentially exploited by illicit actors and foreign entities to conceal financial transactions.

Facing Legal Action over Alleged Transactions

According to a press release issued on Wednesday, Rodriguez and Hill stand accused of developing, marketing, and operating the mixer, purportedly facilitating more than $100 million in money laundering transactions from illegal dark web markets. The release further alleges that Samourai Wallet facilitated approximately $2 billion in "unlawful transactions" from 2015 to the present.

Prosecutors have claimed that Rodriguez and Hill accrued around $4.5 million in fees for their mixing services, with different features carrying various pool fees, as outlined in the indictment. The charges against the duo include conspiracy to commit money laundering and conspiracy to operate an unlicensed money-transmitting business, carrying potential maximum sentences of 20 years and five years, respectively.

Rodriguez was reportedly arrested on Wednesday morning and is expected to be arraigned in Pennsylvania today or tomorrow, while Hill, the Chief Technology Officer of Samourai Wallet, was apprehended in Portugal and will face extradition to the US.

Website Seized Following Developer Indictment

The Samourai Wallet website, previously hosted in Iceland, has been seized, along with a seizure warrant issued for the mobile application on the Google Play Store. The website's homepage now displays a warning from US officials following the developers' indictment.

The Department of Justice's press release highlighted that Samourai Wallet had been under development since 2015, alleging that Rodriguez and Hill actively encouraged users to launder criminal proceeds through the mixer, citing social media posts and private messages. The mobile application reportedly garnered over 100,000 downloads.

This article was written by Tareq Sikder at www.financemagnates.com.
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