A darknet money launderer, Larry Harmon was indicted and arrested by US DoJ earlier this week. He was convicted with crimes of running a money-laundering operation in darknet for several years and profiting over hundreds of thousands of dollars from it. After all, the transactions he laundered throughout his active period has weighed around 350,000 Bitcoins or $300 million!
Money Laundering as a Service?
An investigation was led by IRS, FBI and law departments of several states to capture Larry Harmon, an Ohio resident. He was charged with dealing a moment laundering business in the darknet, where his service acted as mixer or tumbler for processing transactions securely, avoiding from legal eyes. Harmon was alleged to be laundering money since 2014, and with partnering with many darknet sites, he’s said to be moved over $300 million in Bitcoin worth.
The actual operation he did was to conceal the transactions where the source or owner of Bitcoin was hidden from being traced by authorities. Though Bitcoin itself was made for secure transactions, it’s long-debated to be pseudonymous rather than complete anonymous. This can let hard-core tech geeks trace the source anyway. He’s even said to be associated with Grams, an online search engine where he used it to advertise his service, Helix.
This let Harmon cash the gap, where he set up a darknet service called Helix and served as a bridge between customers and recipients. Helix partnered with AlphaBay, one of the largest darknet marketplaces that were closed in 2017 by law enforcement. After all, Harmon will be considered innocent until proven guilty.
Timothy J. Shea, U.S. Attorney from DC said, “For those who seek to use Darknet-based cryptocurrency tumblers, these charges should serve as a reminder that law enforcement, through its partnerships and collaboration, will uncover illegal activity and charge those responsible for unlawful acts.”
Source – DOJ