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Samourai Wallet Charged with Money Laundering Conspiracy

Department Of Justice Samourai Wallet

Yesterday (Wednesday), Keonne Rodriguez and William Lonergan Hill, the founders of Samourai Wallet, were charged by federal prosecutors with conspiracy to commit money laundering, which is a part of the US government campaign against cyber mixing tools that are used by criminal organizations and foreign states to conceal financial operations.

Rodriguez and Hill were also suspected of having created, sold, and administered the mixer, through which they had laundered more than $100 million from illegal dark web markets, a press release from Wednesday says. The statement alleges that Samourai Wallet facilitated $2 billion worth of “illegal transactions” from 2015 to date.

According to the indictment, Rodriguez and Hill reportedly received $4.5 million as mixing fees, where different features required different pool fees. Laundering money and the unlicensed operation of a money-transmitting business conspiracy carry a maximum penalty of 20 years and five years imprisonment, respectively.

Hill, Samourai Wallet’s CTO, was arrested in Portugal and will be brought to the US, while Rodriguez was apprehended Wednesday morning and will be charged in Pennsylvania either today or tomorrow.

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Seized Website

Authorities have seized the Icelandic-based Samourai Wallet website and its Google Play Store app. After the indictment of the developers, a warning from US officials appears on the homepage of the website.

According to the Department of Justice’s news release, Rodriguez and Hill have been working on Samourai Wallet since 2015, encouraging users to launder proceeds of crime through the mixer on social media and in private discussions. More than 100,000 people downloaded the mobile app.

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