BitMEX seeks expedited proceedings after guilty plea in BSA violation


HDR Global Trading Limited, the entity that operates BitMEX, has responded to the Department of Justice (DOJ)’s filing of Bank Secrecy Act (BSA) violation charges. The derivatives exchange says it accepts the BSA charge and will seek an expedited sentencing hearing.

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The exchange will also argue against any further penalties given its founders already paid substantial amounts in related charges filed in 2020.

DOJ says BitMEX violated AML rules

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In the announcement on July 10, the US Attorney Damian Williams said that BitMEX operated in the US and offered its services to customers without the appropriate anti-money laundering (AML) checks.

The government filed charges against the crypto platform’s founders Arthur Hayes, Benjamin Delo and Samuel Reed.

Also charged is the exchange’s first employee, Gregory Dwyer.

DOJ states that the derivatives exchange’s co-founders and their first employee knowingly disregarded AML and KYC requirements. According to the DOJ, BitMEX admitted to the violations in federal court in 2022. 

“BitMEX opened itself up as a vehicle for large-scale money laundering and sanctions evasion schemes, posing a serious threat to the integrity of the financial system.  Today’s guilty plea indicates again the need for cryptocurrency companies to comply with U.S. law if they take advantage of the U.S. market,” Williams added.

BitMEX accepts charge, seeks expedited hearing

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In a response, BitMEX said it accepted the DOJ charges, but added that the BSA violations are “old news.”

Notably, these are charges which the exchange’s founders already faced in 2020 and admitted to. Sentencing gainst them was in 2022 and the exchange has since completely remediated its operations.

“We have accepted the BSA charge, will seek an expedited sentencing hearing, and argue that no further fine should be imposed given the substantial amounts already paid by our founders under the BSA charges brought against them, and under our no admission/no denial settlements with the CFTC and FinCEN in 2021,” the exchange added in the statement.

BitMEX also argues that its users, partners as well as regulatory stakeholders all recognise that the exchange has since adhered to compliance standards.

Its activities have also changed greatly since the DOJ first filed the BSA charge. Former CEO Arthur Hayes stepped down after the charges.

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