Ex-Digitex Futures Exchange CEO pleads guilty to violating Bank Secrecy Act

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Adam Todd, founder and former CEO of the Digitex Futures Exchange, has pleaded guilty in federal court for failure to establish an Anti-Money Laundering program at the firm.

In a May 7 announcement, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Florida said Todd pleaded guilty to “willfully causing” Digitex to violate the Bank Secrecy Act. Authorities indicted the former CEO in February. According to the indictment, Todd operated an unregistered futures platform for U.S. customers between 2018 and 2022, failing to implement and maintain AML and Know Your Customer (KYC) programs. 

According to the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Todd could face up to five years in prison and a $250,000 fine. Though charged in a different federal district, former Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao pleaded guilty to similar charges in November 2023. In April, Zhao was sentenced to four months in prison. His reporting date has yet to be scheduled.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office did not announce a date for Todd’s sentencing hearing. According to his LinkedIn profile, he stepped down as CEO of the exchange in October 2022 and has been working as the lead developer at Digitex Games since February 2023.

Related: Arrested Binance exec pleads not guilty to charges in Nigeria

Todd announced in 2020 that there would be “no KYC identity verification requirements of any kind” following a data breach at Digitex. A former employee of the exchange reportedly stole information from many users’ passports and driver’s licenses.

Digitex claimed at the time to be blocking U.S. IPs and asking users to confirm they were not based in the United States. The U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) filed suit against Todd and Digitex in 2022, winning its case the following year with an order for $16 million in disgorgement and penalties.

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