Bitcoin Fog founder convicted, impact on Tornado Cash devs? - CryptoCrazeNews

Bitcoin Fog founder convicted, impact on Tornado Cash devs?

Bitcoin Fog founder convicted, impact on Tornado Cash devs?

Bitcoin Fog founder convicted, impact on Tornado Cash devs?

Cryptocurrency mixing service Bitcoin Fog’s founder was convicted in Washington federal court of helping to launder millions of dollars from darknet markets infamous for selling illegal drugs. Roman Sterlingov, aged 35, was found guilty by a jury on Tuesday for operating a service that obfuscated digital tokens so much so that it was hard to track their origin. Prosecutors said that Bitcoin Fog, the service in question, facilitated over $400 million in untraceable transactions with $78 million linked to recognized darknet markets.

Bitcoin Fog founder and his crimes

The founder is a double citizen, Swiss and Russian who was apprehended at the Los Angeles International Airport in April 2021 on charges of operating an unlicensed money transmitting business, money transmission without a license and money laundering. He was also charged with conspiracy to commit money laundering following his arrest.

Sterlingov insisted during his detention and subsequent trial that he had not established Bitcoin Fog or ever collected fees from it but admitted to using it. Following a month-long trial, jurors did not believe him when he declared himself innocent, thus finding him guilty of all four charges. He is only the most recent individual linked to crypto mixing services who will do jail time as US and European authorities move against unauthorized crypto financing.

Two other individuals involved in cyber crimes involving digital currencies that included Larry Harmon formerly CEO of Helix, a Bitcoin mixer, and Ilya Lichtenstein together with his wife Heather “Razzlekhan” Morgan who laundered Bitcoins worth $3.6 billion stolen in the 2016 Bitfinex hack testified against Sterlingov in court while pleading guilty last August, Lichtenstein is yet to be sentenced whereas Harmon pleaded guilty this year offering to surrender 4400 bitcoins worth $60 million as well as accept a fine.

The sentencing date for Sterlingov has been set for July 15. On the most serious charge, there is a possibility of him spending up to 20 years in prison.

Connection with Tornado Cash devs case

It is likely that Sterlingov’s verdict will surface in the trials against Tornado Cash developers Alexey Pertsev and Roman Storm, which are scheduled for this year in the Netherlands and the United States, respectively.

Recent reports indicated that ArbitrumDAO withdrew a proposal to provide financial support to Tornado Cash developers Roman Storm and Alexey Pertsev for their legal defense because token holders raised concerns about potential legal ramifications of such contributions.

On March 8th, it was disclosed that Arbitrum DAO was deliberating whether to extend assistance for Tornado Cash’s legal expenses. If approved, 600,000 ARB tokens will be allocated within the initial year, valued at nearly $1.3 million at the time of the proposal.

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