The Owner of Bitzlato Cryptocurrency Exchange Arrested For Money laundering

Anatoly Legkodymov, a 40-year-old Russian national and the owner of the Bitzlato cryptocurrency exchange, was arrested on January 17th in Miami on charges of operating a money transmitting business that transported and transmitted illicit funds and failed to meet U.S. regulatory safeguards.

Legkodymov is accused of operating the Bitzlato exchange, which allegedly enabled customers to engage in illegal activities, including the purchase of illicit drugs and the laundering of proceeds from other criminal activity. The exchange reportedly failed to comply with anti-money laundering (AML) and know-your-customer (KYC) regulations, which are designed to prevent the use of financial systems for criminal activity.

The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) and the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) announced the arrest and charges against Legkodymov, stating that the case is a reminder of the need for cryptocurrency businesses to comply with U.S. laws and regulations.

Today the Department of Justice dealt a significant blow to the cryptocrime ecosystem. Overnight, the Department worked with key partners here and abroad to disrupt Bitzlato, the China-based money laundering engine that fueled a high-tech axis of cryptocrime, and to arrest its founder, Russian national Anatoly Legkodymov. Today’s actions send the clear message: whether you break our laws from China or Europe – or abuse our financial system from a tropical island – you can expect to answer for your crimes inside a United States courtroom.

said Deputy Attorney General Lisa O. Monaco

Bitzlato, a cryptocurrency exchange, has recently come under fire for its alleged connections to illegal activities. The exchange’s largest counterparty in cryptocurrency transactions was reportedly Hydra Market, also known as Hydra, an anonymous and illicit online marketplace for narcotics, stolen financial information, fraudulent identification documents, and money laundering services.

Hydra was known as the largest and longest-running darknet market in the world, and its users reportedly exchanged more than $700 million in cryptocurrency with Bitzlato, either directly or through intermediaries, until it was shuttered by U.S. and German law enforcement in April 2022.

In addition to its connections to Hydra, Bitzlato is also accused of receiving more than $15 million in proceeds from ransomware, a type of malware that encrypts a victim’s files and demands payment in exchange for the decryption key.

Sying Tien

Professional Trader, Social media scholar and a Crypto expert. If you have any comments, suggestions or questions feel free to contact me at and i will get back to you shortly.

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