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The operator of the former Bitcoin Exchange Coin.mx received 16 months in prison


One of the operators of the now defunct bitkoin exchange Coin.mx was sentenced to 16 months in prison. According to Reuters, the Ukrainian software engineer Yuri Lebedev, who lives in Florida, was found guilty of assisting in the management of an unlicensed bitcoin exchange. From the time of his arrest to the verdict handed down by District Judge Alison Nathan, more than two years have passed. Initially, he was arrested and charged with violating laws on money laundering. Pastor Trevon Gross, like Lebedev, was found guilty in March, although in the case of Gross he was charged with bribery in connection with the recently closed credit union in New Jersey, which was allegedly used to transfer funds from Coin.mx abroad.

According to the prosecutors in the case, Lebedev helped arrange bribes to Gross, including $150,000 in donations to his church. Gross is expected to be sentenced later this month. 

Bloomberg reports that Judge Nathan said Lebedev used his "impressive technology skills" in order to avoid detection. Lebedev's attorney, Eric Creizman, described him in court as an "unlikely criminal defendant."

The Florida-based bitcoin exchange Coin.mx was operated as a so-called "Collectibles Club" in order to obscure its exchange activities. Prosecutors had previously tied the exchange to a broader cybercrime enterprise, arguing that Coin.mx served as as a clearing house for funds derived from various criminal activities including a hack on JPMorgan Chase.

Another Coin.mx operator, Anthony Murgio, was arrested and charged, along with Lebedev, in 2015. Murgio pled guilty earlier this year on three charges, including one count of wilfull failure to file a suspicious activity report, and was sentenced to five-and-a-half years in prison in June.

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