Keonne Rodriguez and William Lonergan Hill, the founders and executives of Samourai Wallet, have been arrested. They are accused of money laundering and illegally transferring money through their cryptocurrency mixing service. This was announced by the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, Damian Williams.

Samourai Wallet, a service known for anonymizing Bitcoin transactions, reportedly conducted more than $2 billion in illicit transactions and laundered more than $100 million in criminal proceeds. These criminal activities include revenue from illegal dark web markets such as Silk Road and Hydra Market, and various scams.

Privacy prohibited for bitcoin wallets?

It seems that authorities worldwide are taking more and more action against privacy tools surrounding bitcoin. Tools on other networks are also being addressed. Tornado Cash developer Alexey Pertsev is in custody in the Netherlands. Just like the people behind Samourai Wallet, he also built privacy tools.

Building mixers or other software is dangerous. Hill and Rodriguez are the latest example in a series of developers being targeted for building ways to protect your privacy. The stick to beat with is mainly that criminals use their services, code or software.

Creators of Samourai Wallet arrested

The arrests took place in the United States and Portugal, where Hill was arrested on the US charges. The US will request his extradition. Samourai’s web server and domain have been seized in coordination with authorities in Iceland, and the app has been removed from the Google Play Store in the United States.

This case highlights law enforcement agencies’ ongoing battle against the use of advanced technologies for criminal purposes. If convicted, Rodriguez and Hill face possible serious prison sentences, including a maximum of 20 years for money laundering and five years for illegally transferring money.

Samourai Wallet is described in court documents as a “privacy service” but has also been used by criminals to launder money. Special Agent Thomas Fattorusso of the IRS-CI highlighted the lack of oversight of the transactions. FBI Assistant Director James Smith indicated that this investigation is part of a larger initiative to expose and address financial crimes and the technological tools used to commit them.


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