Former BitMEX CEO Arthur Hayes Asks For No Jail Time After Pleading Guilty

Arthur Hayes, the former CEO and co-founder of cryptocurrency derivatives exchange BitMEX, who pleaded guilty to violating the United States Bank Secrecy Act, is asking the court for no jail time and the freedom to live abroad and move freely, Bloomberg reported on Thursday.

In February, Hayes and his partner, Benjamin Delo, pleaded guilty before the court to anti-money laundering violations and agreed to pay $10 million in settlement of two charges.

As per the plea deal, he is to serve a jail time of six months to one year. However, the court is yet to file its own sentencing recommendation.

The court alleges that the BitMEX co-founders failed to report suspicious activity or implement anti-money laundering (AML) or Know Your Customer (KYC) measures on the exchange even when they were aware the platform was being used to conduct money laundering activities from September 2015 to September 2020.

Following Hayes’ guilty plea, his lawyer filed a 65-page document to the Court that includes photographs and letters from his mother and supporters, requesting “for probation, with no home detention or community confinement.”

“His conviction in the emerging area of finance and markets is a precedent the U.S. can use in the prosecution of financial crimes at cryptocurrency trading platforms around the world,” the lawyer said.

The attorney added that the case has had an extraordinary impact on Hayes’s life and that he is not likely to commit such a crime next time.

Hayes, his partner and BitMEX are not only facing lawsuits from the court but also challenges from regulators in the United States. 

Last year, BitMEX agreed to pay a $100 million criminal fine to the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) and the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) on settlement charges. 

The regulators charged BitMEX for illegally operating an unregulated exchange and failing to implement AML and KYC requirements.

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