A man charged by U.S. prosecutors for operating Bitcoin exchange Coin.mx without a money transmission license has been released on bail.
Anthony Murgio, who is accused of running a Bitcoin exchange service Coin.mx that laundered money and who has been linked to one of the largest bank hacks in U.S. history, can remain free on $100,000 bail.
While waiting to appear on the charges before the United States magistrate judge James C. Francis IV, Murgio made small talk with the two federal agents in the hallway of the federal court in Lower Manhattan. When Murgio appeared in court, he did not say nothing, letting his lawyer, Gregory W. Kehoe of the big law firm Greenberg Traurig, do the talking. The hearing was brief and the judge allowed Murgio, who has run a number of less-than-successful businesses since graduating from Florida State University, to remain free on $100,000 bail. Both Murgio and his lawyer declined to comment after the proceeding in federal court.
The judge, at the request of Eun Young Choi, a federal prosecutor assigned to the case, ordered Murgio not to talk to anyone associated with his company and not to work for any other money-transfer company. Murgio can travel in parts of Florida and New York to look for a job.
Federal authorities state that Murgio’s company, Coin.mx, allowed online criminals to illegally exchange Bitcoin for cash as part of a money-laundering scheme. According to the allegations, Murgio’s Bitcoin business exchanged at least $1.8 million on behalf of tens of thousands of customers between October 2013 and January 2015. Murgio could be sentenced to up to 20 years in prison if convicted on the money-laundering charges.
Murgio was arrested on July 21st at his residence in Florida, the same day that a criminal complaint against him was unsealed in New York. He was released more than a week ago. Murgio faces as long as 20 years in prison if convicted on the money-laundering charge.
According to an October FBI memo reviewed by Bloomberg News, Murgio and a college fraternity brother were linked to a hack last year of JPMorgan Chase & Co. That cyberattack compromised personal data of 83 million bank customers over three months. The charges against Murgio don’t involve that incident.