Another top executive at crypto exchange BitMEX has pleaded guilty in a criminal trial that accused him of violating federal anti-money laundering laws, the U.S. Department of Justice (DoJ) said in a press release on 8 August.
According to the announcement, the former head of business development at the exchange, Gregory Dwyer, admitted he had violated the U.S. Bank Secrecy Act by “willfully failing to establish, implement, and maintain an anti-money laundering program at BitMEX”. Dwyer now faces up to five years in prison — with his sentencing taking place on 10 November — and as part of his plea has agreed to separately pay a $150,000 fine. U.S. Attorney Damian Williams said in a statement:
“With this plea, this Office has now obtained criminal convictions against all three founders, as well as a high-ranking employee at BitMEX, for willful violations of anti-money laundering laws. Today’s plea reflects that employees with management authority at cryptocurrency exchanges, no less than the founders of such exchanges, cannot willfully disregard their obligations under the Bank Secrecy Act.”
The entire BitMEX saga began in October 2020, when the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) and DoJ accused the exchange’s three founders — Arthur Hayes, Ben Delo, and Samuel Reed — and their first employee Gregory Dwyer of operating an unregistered trading platform, violating anti-money laundering laws, and providing unlicensed services to U.S. citizens.
All defendants initially pleaded not guilty to the criminal charges, but later entered a change of plea during their proceedings. Hayes and Delo admitted to breaking the law on 24 February — receiving a two years and a 30 months of probation respectively — while Reed pleaded guilty two weeks after. All three were ordered to pay a total of $30 million in civil monetary penalty for their actions.