Binance, a leading cryptocurrency exchange, has been named as one of the top three counterparties associated with Bitzlato in an order issued by the Treasury’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN).
The order was issued due to a detailed investigation into the activities of Bitzlato, which is alleged to have been involved in money laundering on a large scale.
The founder of Bitzlato, Anatoly Legkodymov, was arrested and charged with money laundering in an effort by the US Justice Department to crack down on illicit funds being laundered through cryptocurrency. The charges against Legkodymov involve allegations of laundering approximately $700 million.
According to the order issued by the Treasury’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN), a significant portion of Bitzlato’s top receiving and sending counterparties are linked to nefarious activities such as darknet markets or scams.
The investigation revealed that nearly two-thirds of Bitzlato’s top counterparties have connections to illegal or suspicious activities.
One of the most striking updates from the order is the revelation of Bitzlato’s top three receiving counterparties. These parties were Binance, a reputable Virtual Asset Service Provider (VASP), a connected darknet market in Russia, Hydra, and the alleged Russian Ponzi scheme “TheFiniko,” in order of the total amount of BTC received between May 2018 and September 2022.
However, the order issued by the Treasury’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) aims to prohibit the transmittal of funds involving Bitzlato by any domestic or international financial institutions. This action is taken due to the significant role Bitzlato has played in handling illicit transactions for ransomware actors in Russia.
A Binance spokesperson has expressed satisfaction in providing substantial assistance to international law enforcement agents in charge of the investigation.
This statement comes after the company’s name was mentioned in the order issued by the Treasury’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) concerning Bitzlato, which is alleged to have been involved in money laundering on a large scale.
The spokesperson further stated that the company is committed to working collaboratively with law enforcement partners. The spokesperson added that Binance takes compliance and anti-money laundering (AML) measures seriously and has implemented strict AML policies to prevent illegal activities on its platform.
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