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The US Department of Justice announces global enforcement actions for cryptocurrency

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The founder of crypto company Bitzlato, Anatoly Legkodimov, has been arrested after the US Department of Justice announced a major global enforcement action for cryptocurrency.

The Department of Justice seized Pizzlato’s resources

Deputy US Attorney General Lisa Monaco announced on January 18 that she had taken enforcement action against Pizzlato in coordination with France. including the takeover of the Bitzlato website and calling the company a “major money laundering concern” linked to illicit Russian financing.

To punish Pizzlato for running a money-transfer company that moved and transferred criminal funds that failed to meet US regulatory standards, the Department of Justice cooperated with the Treasury and French law enforcement authorities, according to Monaco.

FBI agents detained Legkodimov, a Russian national residing in China, on January 17 in Miami as part of the case against Pizzlato. He will be charged with a crime in the US District Court of Florida.

to me US authoritiesThe criminal case against Bitzlato was based on the company being a “critical financial supplier” to the Hydra darknet market, allowing users to launder money from assaults such as ransomware.

“Hydra Market customers transferred more than $700 million in bitcoins with Bitzlato, either directly or through intermediaries, until we and German law enforcement officials closed Hydra Market in April 2022. In addition, Bitzlato received more than $15 million in bitcoin.” Ransomware earnings.”

US Department of Justice.

The enforcement operation was a coordinated effort across Europe and the United States to seize many of Bitzlato’s resources, including the company’s servers, and detain the creator.

The National Crypto Enforcement Team was established in October 2021, and Monaco described the case as the “most significant enforcement action” against the exchange since then.

Kenneth Pollitt, the assistant attorney general in charge of the DOJ’s criminal division, stated that US officials were “just getting started” in their pursuit of similar companies that helped facilitate money laundering.

However, Monaco warned that people committing crimes against the US financial system “from a tropical island” without directly commenting on the ongoing prosecution against cryptocurrency exchange FTX and its former CEO, Sam Bankman-Fried.

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