US costs Samourai cryptomixer founders for laundering $100 million

Hackers cryptocurrency

Keonne Rodriguez and William Lonergan Hill have been charged by the U.S. Division of Justice for laundering greater than $100 million from numerous legal enterprises by way of Samourai, a cryptocurrency mixer service they ran for practically a decade.

As detailed in a superseding indictment, criminals additionally used Samourai’s Whirlpool crypto mixer to course of over $2 billion in illicit funds between 2015 and February 2024.

Along with crypto mixing providers, Samourai additionally supplied a service known as “Ricochet,” which allowed customers to ship cryptocurrency utilizing extra and pointless intermediate transactions to thwart legislation enforcement and crypto change efforts to trace funds sourced from legal exercise.

This cash laundering exercise allegedly earned the 2 founders round $4.5 million in charges for Whirlpool and Ricochet transactions.

“Because the begin of the Whirlpool service in or about 2019, and of the Ricochet service in or about 2017, over 80,000 BTC (value over $2 billion making use of the BTC-USD conversion charges on the time of every transaction) has handed by way of these two providers operated by Samourai,” the indictment alleges.

Samourai’s Pockets cellular software was additionally downloaded over 100,000 instances, permitting customers to retailer personal keys for BTC addresses they managed and change funds with different Samourai customers in nameless monetary transactions.

Icelandic legislation enforcement has seized Samourai’s domains (samourai[.]io and samouraiwallet[.]com) and net servers, and the Google Play Retailer eliminated the Android cellular app after being served a seizure warrant.

Samourai seizure banner
Samourai seizure banner (DOJ)

​Rodriguez was taken into custody this morning and can seem earlier than a U.S. Justice of the Peace Decide within the Western District of Pennsylvania within the following days.

Hill was additionally arrested this morning in Portugal on U.S. legal costs, with the U.S. authorities planning to request his extradition to america in order that he can stand trial.

They’re each charged with two counts of conspiracy: cash laundering (20-year most sentence) and working an unlicensed money-transmitting enterprise (5-year most sentence).

“Whereas providing Samourai as a ‘privateness’ service, the defendants knew that it was a haven for criminals to have interaction in large-scale cash laundering and sanctions evasion,” the DOJ stated.

“Samourai laundered over $100 million of crime proceeds originating from, amongst different legal sources, unlawful darkish net markets, resembling Silk Highway and Hydra Market; numerous wire fraud and laptop fraud schemes, together with a web-server intrusion, a spearphishing scheme, and schemes to defraud a number of decentralized finance protocols; and different unlawful

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