DoJ announced today the unsealing of an indictment charging LIBERTY RESERVE, a company that operated one of the worlds most widely used digital currency services, and seven of its principals and employees with money laundering and operating an unlicensed money transmitting business. LIBERTY RESERVE is alleged to have had more than one million users worldwide, including more than 200,000 users in the U.S, who conducted approximately 55 million transactions virtually all of which were illegal and laundered more than $6 billion in suspected proceeds of crimes including credit card fraud, identity theft, investment fraud, computer hacking, child pornography, and narcotics trafficking.
The defendants created, structured, and operated LIBERTY RESERVE as a criminal bank-payment processor designed to help users conduct illegal transactions anonymously and launder the proceeds of their crimes. It emerged as one of the principal money transfer agents used by cyber criminals around the world to distribute, store, and launder the proceeds of their illegal activity. The company grew into a financial hub of the cybercrime world, facilitating a broad range of online criminal activity, including credit card fraud, identity theft, investment fraud, computer hacking, child pornography, and narcotics trafficking. LIBERTY RESERVE was used extensively for illegal purposes, functioning as the bank of choice for the criminal underworld because it provided an infrastructure that enabled cyber criminals around the world to conduct anonymous and untraceable financial transactions. (Source: U.S. Department of Justice)