(Reuters) — The first employee of BitMEX pleaded guilty on Monday to violating U.S. bank secrecy laws by failing to establish an anti-money laundering program, after the cryptocurrency exchange’s three co-founders pleaded guilty to the same charges.
Gregory Dwyer, of Australia and Bermuda, entered the plea before US District Judge John Koeltl in Manhattan. He also agreed to pay a $150,000 fine.
Prosecutors said that from 2015 to 2020, Mr. Dwyer and BitMEX founders Benjamin Delo, Arthur Hayes and Samuel Reed willfully violated the federal Bank Secrecy Act by failing to adopt anti-money laundering and “know your customer” programs, effectively turning the exchange into a platform for money laundering.
Mr. Dwyer served as director of business development at BitMEX, short for Bitcoin Mercantile Exchange.
He could face up to five years in prison, although Mr. Share, Mr. Hayes and Mr. Reed were each sentenced to probation.
An attorney for Dwyer did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
Last August, BitMEX agreed to pay up to $100 million to settle civil charges from two US financial regulators that it failed to properly vet customers and accepted customer funds to trade cryptocurrencies without being registered.