BitMEX’s Delo Will Not Face Prison After Guilty Plea

Ben Delo pleaded guilty to charges of violating the Bank Secrecy Act earlier this year.

AccessTimeIconJun 15, 2022 at 10:18 p.m. UTC
Updated May 11, 2023 at 5:42 p.m. UTC

BitMEX co-founder Benjamin Delo will spend 30 months on probation after being sentenced in a New York federal court Wednesday.

Delo, alongside BitMEX founder Arthur Hayes, pleaded guilty to charges of violating the Bank Secrecy Act earlier this year in a case that stemmed from 2020. Delo also agreed to pay a $10 million fine in settling a U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) and Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) case filed in February.

Hayes was previously sentenced to six months of home detention and two years of probation, alongside a similar fine.

A spokesperson from Smith Villazor, the firm representing Delo, said, “We are pleased that the Court appropriately rejected the government’s cynical attempt to exaggerate the seriousness of the Bank Secrecy Act charge in this case. Today’s sentence of probation recognized that this case involved a compliance lapse that led to a regulatory violation – and nothing more.”

The DOJ, alongside the CFTC and FinCEN, announced they were charging BitMEX and its founders with violating both civil and criminal statutes by allowing U.S. residents to trade crypto derivatives on the exchange despite it not being registered in the country, and having poor know-your-customer (KYC) practices.

The exchange itself, which saw its leadership changed after the charges were announced, settled with the CFTC and FinCEN last summer, agreeing to a $100 million fine split between the two agencies.


Please note that our privacy policy, terms of use, cookies, and do not sell my personal information has been updated.

The leader in news and information on cryptocurrency, digital assets and the future of money, CoinDesk is a media outlet that strives for the highest journalistic standards and abides by a strict set of editorial policies. CoinDesk is an independent operating subsidiary of Digital Currency Group, which invests in cryptocurrencies and blockchain startups. As part of their compensation, certain CoinDesk employees, including editorial employees, may receive exposure to DCG equity in the form of stock appreciation rights, which vest over a multi-year period. CoinDesk journalists are not allowed to purchase stock outright in DCG.

Nikhilesh De

Nikhilesh De is CoinDesk's managing editor for global policy and regulation. He owns marginal amounts of bitcoin and ether.

Learn more about Consensus 2024, CoinDesk’s longest-running and most influential event that brings together all sides of crypto, blockchain and Web3. Head to to register and buy your pass now.

Read more about