The former head of technology for Liberty Reserve, which created an alternative digital currency that was allegedly used in money-laundering activities, pleaded guilty to criminal charges in a US court.
Maxim Chukharev, 28, of Costa Rica, on Tuesday pleaded guilty in New York to conspiring to operate an illegal unlicensed money transmitting business, Agence France-Presse reported.
Sentencing is scheduled for January 30, with a maximum penalty of five years in prison, the US Justice Department was quoted as saying in a statement.
Chukharev was one of seven people charged in May 2013 when federal authorities announced they had shut down what was described as one of the world’s biggest money laundering schemes.
Investigators said the scheme laundered more than US$6 billion in criminal proceeds between 2006 and 2013 by establishing accounts using the alternative Liberty Reserve currency.
Liberty Reserve’s principals were arrested in a round-up last year in Costa Rica, Spain and New York. Before being shut down, the firm had more than a million users worldwide, including more than 200,000 in the United States, according to the report.
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