Bitzlato co-founder pleads guilty to processing $700 million in illicit funds

Anatoly Legkodymov, the Russian co-founder of Hong Kong-registered virtual currency exchange Bitzlato, pleaded guilty to money laundering crimes in a New York court on Wednesday, according to a statement from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of New York. Legkodymov was scheduled to appear in a Brooklyn courtroom before U.S. District Judge Eric Vitaliano at 2:30 p.m. ET for a “criminal cause for pleading,” Reuters reported earlier in the day. “Legkodymov’s guilty plea today confirms that he was well aware that Bitzlato, his cryptocurrency exchange, was being used like an open turnstile by criminals eager to take advantage of his lax controls over illicit money transactions,” stated United States Attorney Breon Peace. “The defendant may have thought he was operating from a safe haven overseas for his ‘No Questions Asked’ clearinghouse, but this prosecution and conviction demonstrate otherwise.” Legkodymov was arrested in Miami in January and charged with transmitting illicit funds. Bitzlato had been the largest counterparty of the now defunct Hydra darknet marketplace, whose users sent around $700 million worth of crypto through the exchange, according to the indictment. Source