Bitcoin Fog operator barred for laundering $400M

Russian-Swedish national Roman Sterlingov was convicted by a federal jury in Washington, DC, for laundering $400 million in bitcoin.

Deputy Attorney General Lisa Monaco said in a press release that Sterlingov believed that he could “use the shadows of the internet to launder hundreds of millions of dollars in bitcoin without getting caught. But he was wrong.”

Sterlingov was responsible for operating Bitcoin Fog from 2011 to 2021, making it the longest-standing cryptocurrency mixer, according to court documents and evidence provided at the trial.

This mixing service gained some level of infamy as the “go-to money laundering service for criminals seeking to hide their illicit proceeds from law enforcement,” the press release reads.

During this time, the organization had moved 1.2 million bitcoin with a market value of around $400 million.

The majority of this cryptocurrency was generated from darknet marketplaces, with activity including the distribution of illegal narcotics, computer crimes, identity theft, and child sexual abuse material.

Sterlingov was convicted of money laundering, conspiracy, and sting money laundering. Each conviction carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison.

The Russian-Swedish national was also found guilty of operating an unlicensed money-transmitting business and transmitting money without a license in the District of Columbia. Each sentence will carry a maximum penalty of five years in prison.

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