The US Justice Department has shut down a Russian crypto exchange and charged its founder and majority owner, Anatoly Legkodymov, with processing over $700 million in illicit funds.
Andrey Legkodymov, the founder of Bitzlato Ltd., was arrested in Miami for allegedly running a money transmitting business that didn't meet US regulatory standards, including anti-money laundering requirements.
Bitzlato, run by Andrey Legkodymov, was allegedly a crypto money laundering platform that facilitated around $1 billion worth of crypto money laundering since 2019.
It is alleged that the exchange required minimal identification from users, allowing criminals to store their cryptocurrency without any KYC procedures, and that Legkodymov was aware of the illicit activity within the exchange.
Of the total $1 billion facilitated by Bitzlato, around $206 million came from darknet markets, $224.50 million from scams, and $9 million from ransomware attackers.
The US Justice Department has charged Legkodymov with running a money-transmitting business that didn't meet US regulatory standards.
The charges allege that Legkodymov was aware of the illicit activity within the exchange and failed to take steps to prevent it.
The US Justice Department is seeking criminal penalties, including jail time, for Legkodymov.