COURT DOC: Ohio Resident Charged with Operating Darknet-Based Bitcoin “Mixer,” which Laundered Over $300 Million
An Ohio man was arrested for his operation of Helix, a Darknet-based cryptocurrency laundering service. In the three-count indictment unsealed Feb. 11 in the District of Columbia, Larry Harmon, 36, of Akron, Ohio, was charged with money laundering conspiracy, operating an unlicensed money transmitting business and conducting money transmission without a D.C. license.
According to the indictment, Harmon operated Helix from 2014 to 2017. Helix functioned as a bitcoin ‘mixer’ or ‘tumbler,’ allowing customers, for a fee, to send bitcoin to designated recipients in a manner that was designed to conceal the source or owner of the bitcoin. Helix was linked to and associated with ‘Grams,’ a Darknet search engine also run by Harmon. Harmon advertised Helix to customers on the Darknet as a way to conceal transactions from law enforcement.
The indictment alleges that Helix moved over 350,000 bitcoin valued at over $300 million at the time of the transactions on behalf of customers, with the largest volume coming from Darknet markets. Helix partnered with the Darknet market AlphaBay to provide bitcoin laundering services for AlphaBay customers. AlphaBay was one of the largest Darknet marketplaces in operation at the time that it was seized by law enforcement in July 2017. (Source: U.S. Department of Justice)