Former BitMEX CEO Arthur Hayes has voluntarily surrendered to United States authorities in Hawaii.
The embattled former head of major cryptocurrency exchange Bitmex is facing charges from New York prosecutors alongside fellow co-founders for their alleged failure to prevent the exchange from being used for money laundering.
As previously reported by The Daily Chain, Hayes and his fellow BitMEX co-founders Benjamin Delo and Samuel Reed are facing charges from the US Department of Justice filed in October 2020 which allege that they illegally offered leveraged retail commodity transactions, futures, options, and swaps on different cryptocurrencies through the exchange.
The charges are centered around BitMEX’s failure to register with the Commodity Futures Trading Commission over the past few years. The complaint further alleged that the exchange owners conspired to violate the Bank Secrecy Act by failing to implement the most basic compliance procedures including Know Your Customer (KYC) practices and Anti-Money Laundering measures.
Hayes and his co-accused allegedly withdrew $440 mln from Bitmex’s coffers after reviewing the details of investigations and subsequent allegations by US. regulators and law enforcement agencies.
Hayes has surrendered to face charges
According to a report from Bloomberg, Hayes surrendered to authorities in Hawaii in early April and appeared before a federal judge in Honolulu. Hayes was then released on $10 million bond which is dependent on the former CEO appearing in court in New York in the coming months. Hayes’ legal team released a statement vehemently denying the charges and pleading the former CEO’s innocence.
“Arthur Hayes is a self-made entrepreneur who has been wrongly accused of crimes that he did not commit. Mr. Hayes voluntarily appeared in court and looks forward to fighting these unwarranted charges,” the statement read.
Hayes’ cooperation with American authorities follows in the wake of Delo’s surrender to authorities last month. The Oxford-schooled, English computer scientist had his charges read out to him remotely by US Magistrate Judge Sarah Cave on March 16. Delo pleaded not guilty to the charges and was released on a $20 million bail bond which permits him to return to his home in the UK.
Reed was arrested in 2020 while Gregory Dwyer, a fourth defendant in the case, is still on the run from authorities.
The four accused face charges of violating the Bank Secrecy Act and one count of conspiring to violate that same act. These two charges carry a maximum prison term of 5 years each. Following the filing of charges late last year, BitMEX appointed Alexander Hoptner as its CEO after the four accused step-down from their respective roles at the exchange.