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Founder of Hong Kong Crypto Exchange Bitzlato Arrested by U.S. Authorities

U.S. authorities have arrested the majority shareholder and co-founder of Hong Kong-registered virtual currency exchange Bitzlato Ltd, Anatoly Legkodymov, for allegedly processing hundreds of millions of dollars in illicit funds.

United States Department of the Treasury build
United States Department of the Treasury build

Legkodymov, a Russian national living in China, was arrested in Miami on Tuesday.

Bitzlato was Labeled as a "Money Laundering Concern" by FinCEN

The action was done in conjunction with the U.S. Treasury Department's Financial Crimes Enforcement Network and foreign authorities, marking the first significant action by the Justice Department's National Cryptocurrency Enforcement Network.

Bitzlato logo
Bitzlato logo

Treasury's Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) said it had prohibited certain transmittals of funds involving Bitzlato by any covered financial institution after labeling Bitzlato Ltd a "money laundering concern" related to illicit Russian finance.

Bitzlato Website Seized by French Authorities

By midday, Wednesday, Bitzlato's website was replaced by a notice saying that the service had been seized by French authorities "as part of a coordinated international law enforcement action."