U.S authorities have arrested Helix mixer operator for laundering over Bitcoin on Dark Web.
Larry Dean Harmon (36), from Akron, Ohio, was charged with laundering more than $300M worth of Bitcoin while he was operating Helix, a Darknet-based cryptocurrency laundering service between 2014 and 2017.
Harmon operated Helix as a bitcoin mixer (Bitcoin tumbler), where funds are taken from users and allows them to mix their coins with other users in order to preserve their identity.
From April 2014 Harmon allegedly operated the dark web search engine Grams and from July 2017 the Helix Bitcoin tumbler.
“Helix was linked to and associated with “Grams,” a Darknet search engine also run by Harmon. Harmon advertised Helix to customers on the Darknet as a way to conceal transactions from law enforcement,” reads the press release published by DoJ.
The three-count indictment charged against Harmon in the District of Columbia, were money laundering conspiracy, operating an unlicensed money transmitting business and conducting money transmission without a D.C license.
Helix service laundered over 350,000 bitcoin (valued at over $300 million at the time of the transactions), with the largest percentage coming from Darknet markets and provided bitcoin laundering services for AlphaBay customers. Helix partnered with AlphaBay, one of the largest Darknet marketplaces that were seized by law enforcement in July 2017.
“For those who seek to use Darknet-based cryptocurrency tumblers, these charges should serve as a reminder that law enforcement, through its partnership and collaboration, will uncover illegal activity and change those responsible for unlawful acts,” said U.S Attorney Timothy J. Shea of the District of Columbia.
“The perceived anonymity of cryptocurrency and the Darknet May appeal to criminals as a refuge to hide their illicit activity.”
You may be interested in reading: ASP.NET Hit by Ransomware