On June 27, 2017, Anthony R. Murgio was sentenced to 66 months in prison for operating an internet-based Bitcoin exchange through which Murgio processed more than $10 million in illegal Bitcoin transactions.  According to the Superseding Indictment and statements made during court proceedings, Murgio operated Coin.mx, the unlawful exchange, between 2013 and July 2015.  Coin.mx was founded in violation of federal anti-money laundering laws and regulations, including those requiring exchanges like Coin.mx to meet state and federal licensing and registration requirements set forth by the United States Treasury Department.  Murgio and his co-conspirators used a front company, “Collectables Club,” in order to avoid detection of the Bitcoin exchange.  Murgio used the Collectables Club to open bank accounts through which Coin.mx operated, in order to mislead financial institutions into believing that the Bitcoin exchange was a members-only association of individuals buying and selling collectible items and memorabilia.  Murgio and his co-conspirators also misidentified and miscoded Coin.mx’s customers’ credit and debit card transactions and instructed Coin.mx customers to mislead banks about the nature of the credit and debit card transactions that they executed through Coin.mx.  In addition, in order to avoid scrutiny of the Coin.mx scheme, Murgio and his co-conspirators, in 2014, gained control of Helping Other People Excel Federal Credit Union (“HOPE FCU”), a federal credit union in New Jersey and transferred Coin.mx’s banking operations to HOPE FCU.  Murgio and his co-conspirators then attempted to obstruct an examination of HOPE FCU by the National Credit Union Administration.  In connection with this scheme, Murgio pled guilty to conspiracy to operate an unlicensed money transmitting business, conspiracy to commit wire fraud and bank fraud, and conspiracy to obstruct an examination of a financial institution.  All of Murgio’s co-conspirators have been convinced and either have been sentenced or are awaiting sentencing.  United States v. Murgio,  15-CR-769 (S.D.N.Y.).

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