BitMex founders Arthur Hayes and Benjamin Delo pleaded guilty to violating the US Bank Secrecy Act on Thursday. The Justice Department has classified BitMex as ‘a money laundering platform’.

As a consequence of their misconduct, the two were ordered to pay $10 million each in fines.

Prosecutor Damian Williams highlighted the position of the District of New York, which said that BitMex violated the secrecy law for ‘unintentionally establishing, implementing and maintaining an anti-money laundering program.’

“The opportunities and advantages of operating in the United States are myriad, but with it comes an obligation for these companies to do their part to help eliminate crime and corruption,” Williams said. “Arthur Hayes and Benjamin Delo built a company designed to flout those obligations; they deliberately failed to implement and maintain even basic anti-money laundering policies. They allowed BitMEX to operate as a platform in the shadows of financial markets. Today’s guilty pleas reflect this Office’s ongoing commitment to the investigation and prosecution of money laundering in the cryptocurrency industry.”

The court’s conclusions were that ‘BitMEx was in fact a money laundering platform.’

BitMex Founders Avoid Jail

Hayes and Delo accepted that they not only allowed US clients to trade on the platform, but that they profited considerably from it. Among the many violations presented to the court was the case of an individual who traded on the platform with Delo’s specific consent. This despite Delo knowing the individual was in the US.

The court also found that Hayes and Delo specifically targeted US customers through influencer marketing. Hayes made frequent appearances on American television to further expose American investors to the company.

Hayes and Delo plead guilty to one count of violating the Bank Secrecy Act. The maximum penalty for the crime is 5 years in prison.

Having pleaded guilty, the two men will avoid a custodial sentence.

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