The Crypto Roundup: 25 April 2024 |

The Crypto Roundup: 25 April 2024 |

The Crypto Roundup: 25 April 2024 | PlatoBlockchain Data Intelligence. Vertical Search. Ai.

On Wednesday, the U.S. Department of Justice announced charges against Keonne Rodriguez and William Lonergan Hill, founders of Samourai Wallet, for their alleged involvement in a large-scale money laundering operation. The charges underscore the ongoing efforts by U.S. authorities to clamp down on crypto-mixing services that might be exploited by criminals and foreign entities to obscure financial transactions.

According to the DOJ’s press release, Rodriguez, 35, and Hill, 65, are accused of orchestrating a complex scheme through their crypto mixer, Samourai Wallet. This service reportedly facilitated over $100 million in transactions derived from illegal activities on the dark web. The indictment reveals a broader scope of alleged illegal activities, suggesting that Samourai Wallet handled approximately $2 billion in unlawful transactions since its inception in 2015.

The duo reportedly earned about $4.5 million in fees from these transactions, with varying rates depending on the mixing service features used. Both Rodriguez and Hill face charges of conspiracy to commit money laundering and operating an unlicensed money-transmitting business, with potential maximum sentences of 20 years and five years in prison, respectively.

The arrests occurred on the same day; Rodriguez was taken into custody in Pennsylvania, with plans for an immediate arraignment, while Hill was arrested in Portugal and is pending extradition to the U.S. In a parallel action, authorities seized the Samourai Wallet website hosted in Iceland and issued a seizure warrant for the mobile application on the Google Play Store.

The press release revealed that Samourai Wallet’s founders actively promoted the platform as a money laundering tool for the black/grey markets, citing various communications and marketing materials that targeted dark market participants and online gamblers.

Time Stamp:

More from CryptoCompare