Apr 24, 2024 - Technology

Samourai Wallet founders arrested as part of federal crackdown on crypto mixing

Damian Williams, U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York, speaks during a press conference

Damian Williams, U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York, speaks during a press conference. Photo by Alexi J. Rosenfeld/Getty Images

Federal prosecutors on Wednesday charged the founders of a crypto-mixing service called Samourai Wallet with conspiracy to commit money laundering and operating an unlicensed money transmitter business.

Why it matters: The U.S. government is cracking down on crypto-mixing tools that criminals can use to hide their tracks.

Catch up quick: Bitcoin Fog founder Roman Sterlingov last month was found guilty on four charges related to money laundering, while we're awaiting the upcoming trial against Tornado Cash developer Roman Storm.

Zoom in: Samourai Wallet is a Bitcoin wallet that promised to "keep your transactions private and your identity masked."

  • Samourai allegedly executed over $2 billion in unlawful transactions and laundered more than $100 million via illegal dark web markets, according to the Department of Justice's press release.
  • The charges relate to the founders' development, marketing and operating of Samourai Wallet.

Flashback: Keonne Rodriguez, 35, and William Hill, 65, were arrested Wednesday morning.

  • Rodriguez will be arraigned in Pennsylvania, and Hill is to be extradited to the U.S. from Portugal.
  • The Samourai Wallet website has been seized; a warrant also was issued for its mobile app on the Google Play Store.

Read the indictment:

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