Arthur Hayes and Benjamin Delo, the founders of BitMEX, have been slapped with a hefty fine of $10 million each after pleading guilty to violating the US Bank Secrecy Act. BitMEX has also now been labeled as a “money-laundering platform”.
Prosecutor Damian Williams told the Court that BitMEX failed to establish, implement and maintain an anti-money laundering program, thus violating the Secrecy Act. He highlighted that while opportunities and advantages of operating in the United States are numerous, businesses help by driving out corruption and crime.
Williams alleged that Arthur Hayes and Benjamin Delo established BitMEX to flout these obligations. The platform failed to implement and maintain the basic anti-money laundering policies. The prosecutor pointed out that BitMEX operated as a shady platform in the shadows of the financial markets. Williams said the founders’ guilty plea shows the Office’s continued commitment to the investigation and prosecution of money laundering in the crypto sector.
Hayes and Delo also accepted that BitMEX profited considerably. Moreover, the Court established that the founders targeted US customers through influence marketing. It noted that Hayes often made US television appearances to expose US investors to the platform.
The Seychelles-based crypto trading platform offers derivatives, margin trading up to 100x, and crypto futures. There are also speculations that Hayes bribed the Seychelles local government. Reports say Hayes boasted about this saying that it merely cost him a coconut.
BitMEX fell under scrutiny when it offered services without any know-your-customer (KYC) or AML verification procedures to Americans. The Department of Justice pointed out the platform’s lack of regulatory compliance. It stated that this highlights BitMEX as a money-laundering platform.