Bitcoin 'mixer' fined $60M for multiple BSA violations
FinCEN has assessed a civil money penalty of $60,000,000 on Larry Dean Harmon, Akron, Ohio, as the primary operator of Helix, and as the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and primary operator of Coin Ninja LLC (Coin Ninja), pursuant to the Bank Secrecy Act (BSA) and regulations issued pursuant to that Act. Mr. Harmon has been indicted in the District of Columbia under related criminal charges pursuant to 18 U.S.C. §§ 1956 and 1960 for conspiracy to launder monetary instruments and the operation of an unlicensed money transmitting business.
FinCEN has determined that, from on or about June 6, 2014 through December 3, 2019, Mr. Harmon, doing business as Helix, willfully violated the BSA’s registration, program, and reporting requirements. Mr. Harmon, doing business as Helix, willfully (a) failed to register as a money services business; (b) failed to implement and maintain an effective anti-money laundering (AML) program; and (c) failed to report certain suspicious activity. In addition, FinCEN has determined that on or about July 13, 2017 through December 3, 2019, Mr. Harmon willfully participated in Coin Ninja’s failure to register as a money services business. FinCEN determined that the maximum penalty in this matter is $209,144,554. After considering aggravating and mitigating factors, FinCEN imposed the $60,000,000 penalty.