Arthur Hayes and Ben Delo, founders of cryptocurrency derivatives exchange BitMEX, pleaded guilty to violating US law.
US Department of Justice states:
“Arthur Hayes and BENJAMIN DELO, founders and executives of purportedly “off-shore” cryptocurrency derivatives exchange the Bitcoin Mercantile Exchange or “BitMEX,” pled guilty today to violating the Bank Secrecy Act (the “BSA”) by willfully failing to establish, implement, and maintain an anti-money laundering (“AML”) program at BitMEX.”
According to a press release, they agreed to pay $10 million in fines separately, an amount the Justice Department called “material gains derived from the crime.” The maximum penalty for the relevant crime is up to 5 years in prison. The court will announce the specific punishment at a later date.
“HAYES, 36, of Miami, Florida, and DELO, 38, of the United Kingdom and Hong Kong, pled guilty to one count each of violating the Bank Secrecy Act, which carries a maximum penalty of 5 years in prison.”
Hayes said he takes responsibility for his actions “and looks forward to putting this matter behind him.” A Delo spokesman said he regrets that BitMEX “did not have an adequate customer identification program in place.”
“Arthur Hayes and Benjamin Delo built a company designed to flout AML or KYC obligations; they willfully failed to implement and maintain even basic anti-money laundering policies. They allowed BitMEX to operate as a platform in the shadows of the financial markets.”
In October 2020, the US Department of Justice filed charges of violating the Bank Secrecy Act against co-founders of the exchange Arthur Hayes, Ben Delo, Samuel Reid, and Greg Dwyer. Each faces up to five years in prison.
In parallel with the accusations from the Ministry of Justice, the CFTC filed a civil lawsuit against the exchange and its affiliated companies. The defendants were Hayes, Reid, and Delo. Reed was arrested in the United States, he was released on bail of $ 5million.
In the UK, Delo surrendered to US authorities in March 2021. Hayes flew from Singapore to Hawaii in April, having previously agreed on the terms of voluntary surrender but later captured. The court also released both on bail. For Hayes, the amount was $10 million, and for Delo – $20 million. Dwyer, who lived in Bermuda, agreed to extradition in September.