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
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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.

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Nikhilesh De

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


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