Anthony Murgio, the operator of Coin.mx before its closing, has been sentenced to five and a half years in prison over charges of transferring laundered funds. Both he and Yuri Lebedev were arrested and charged back in the summer of 2015, with additional charges added by federal prosecutors in November of the same year. An estimated $10 million in laundered funds was processed through illegal bitcoin transactions between April 2013 and July 2015.
Coin.mx was a Bitcoin exchange located in Florida that was alleged by federal prosecutors to have been transferring laundered funds. Murgio pled guilty to his involvement in the illegal online activity in January 2017, and the government pushed for a 10 year sentence. US District Judge Alison Nathan, who oversaw the case, decided in favor of a term coming to about half of that.
Brian Klein of law firm Baker Marquart, who represented Mr. Murgio, was pleasantly surprised by Judge Nathan’s decision: “Although we had hoped for an even lower sentence, we are pleased she made such a dramatic departure, and in so doing, we believe she validated points we raised in our sentencing submission and at the hearing today.”
The Coin.mx case was further linked to a larger scale cyber-scheme, notorious for targeting firms such as JPMorgan Chase and stealing information belonging to tens of millions of the bank’s clients. Moreover, the case had also been linked to a credit union based in New Jersey that had been involved in transferring the cyber-crime related funds overseas, while targeting the low income population of Lakewood, NJ. The company had closed down and its chief executive had been charged as an accessory of Coin.mx and for receiving bribes.
On September 1 2017 there will be a follow up hearing, while Murgio will still be out on bail.
Earlier this year, Murgio and his son Michael Murgio, who were running the unlicensed operation, managed to avoid a jail sentence by pleading guilty to a lesser charge.