Benjamin Delo, the co-founder of cryptocurrency exchange BitMEX, was sentenced to 30 months of probation for breaching the Bank Secrecy Act (BSA), an anti-money laundering statute.
Following his guilty plea in February to charges of “willfully neglecting to establish, administer, and maintain an Anti-Money Laundering (AML) program” in his capacity at BitMEX, the sentence was handed down on June 15th in a federal court in New York.
Prosecutors suggested that Delo should serve a year in prison or at the very least be sentenced to two years of probation and six months of home detention, as former CEO Arthur Hayes was in May.
BitMEX’s Benjamin escapes jail time
Delo’s reduced term brings an end to a legal drama that began in October 2020, when co-founders Hayes and Samuel Reed, as well as BitMEX’s first formal employee Gregory (Greg) Dwyer, were all prosecuted with similar crimes.
Delo’s offenses were described by Judge John Koeltl as “extremely significant,” and he admitted that he knew BitMEX was infringing US rules by failing to build an anti-money laundering (AML) and know-your-customer (KYC) system.
However, Judge Koeltl acknowledged that the exchange later took steps to correct the problem and became compliant.
Judge Koeltl, a British citizen who lives in Hong Kong, ordered that Delo be permitted to spend his probationary sentence there.
The fact that Delo paid a $10 million fine to settle a court judgment from May in a civil lawsuit brought by the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) for violating parts of the Commodity Exchange Act was also taken into account by Judge Koeltl.
After the sentencing hearing, a spokesperson for Delo’s legal team claimed the court rejected “the government’s opportunistic attempt to misrepresent the gravity of the Bank Secrecy Act charge in this instance.”
According to the Sydney Morning Herald, former BitMEX head of business development Greg Dwyer, who now dwells in Bermua, is in discussion with the New York federal court to prolong a deadline for filing pre-trial documentation.