Larry Dean Harmon pleaded guilty Wednesday to money laundering allegations. Harmon was the founder and operator of Helix, which is a bitcoin mixing service. Harmon’s guilty plea is in response to the $60 million fine that Harmon received last year from the U.S Treasury’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network.
The Helix operator pleaded guilty to money laundering and conspiracy charges.
According to numerous reports and a court-issued guilty plea, Larry Harmon (38) of Ohio pleaded guilty in a D.C. federal district court Wednesday to money laundering charges and conspiracy. Harmon told the court that he intends to cooperate with federal authorities. Harmon was accused of running Helix BTC mixing services from 2014 to 2017.
U.S. authorities claimed that Helix was used to transfer more than $300,000,000 in bitcoin, and then sent it out anonymously. Charles Flood, Harmon’s defense attorney, claims that the operator used a “double-blind system” to conceal how much BTC was flowing through Helix.
Flood spoke in a federal courtroom on Wednesday, stating that Harmon set up a double-blind system with Helix. Flood stated, “While he fully acknowledges that the law was broken and was actually laundering money and knew it to be drug proceeds,… he doesn’t know the exact amount.”
The only aim of the Bitcoin Mixer was to hide illegal transactions. The feds plan to take three properties.
Don Fort, the head of IRS Criminal Investigation, explained in a U.S. Justice Department press release that Harmon was trying to hide funds. Fort said that Harmon’s only purpose was to hide criminal transactions, which was a result of his growing expertise in the area.
The U.S. government is seeking to seize three properties Harmon has in Ohio. According to the court-issued plea, Harmon is seeking the forfeiture of the two properties in Akron, Ohio, and the property in Aurora, Colorado.
It was the intent of the conspiracy. “The Justice Department paperwork notes that Harmon and other co-conspirators illegally enrich themselves through the operation of a bitcoin money-laundering company which would conceal or promote illegal Darknet drug sales,” the Justice Department paperwork notes.
Harmon also pleaded guilty to conspiracy charges, which are tied to Alphabay, a former darknet market giant. According to court statements, Harmon pleaded guilty to conspiracy charges that were tethered to the former darknet marketplace giant Alphabay.
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