Bitcoin Fog Mastermind Eyes 20-Year Jail Term Amid Criminal Conviction

Hacker and bitcoin

Roman Sterlingov, the brain of Bitcoin Fog crypto mixer, has been convicted by a jury on a four-count indictment that may result in 20 years in prison. The 35-year-old man behind Bitcoin Fog, a cryptocurrency mixing service, has been convicted for his involvement in various money laundering schemes.

Bitcoin Fog obscures crypto transaction origins

Roman Sterlingov, the Russian-Swiss national behind the Bitcoin Fog protocol, was accused in a Washington federal court of his role in a fraud that cost several cryptocurrency users tens of millions of dollars. Sterlingov was accused of using darknet platforms, particularly those created for the sale of illicit narcotics, to launder money.

The young guy operates Bitcoin Fog, a cryptocurrency mixer. Even as crypto mixers and tumblers have legitimate applications, particularly for traders seeking anonymity, they are frequently used by criminals to jumble their plunder in a crypto pool to conceal its origin. According to government data, Bitcoin Fog handled more than $400 million in untraceable assets, some of which were obtained illegally. Sterlingov previously denied running Bitcoin Fog, but the government’s inquiry means he may face up to 20 years in prison.

Ilya Lichtenstein, the well-known Bitfinex hacker who was charged alongside his wife Heather Morgan for stealing roughly 120,000 Bitcoin (BTC) in 2016, was one of those who used Bitcoin Fog. Unlike Sterlingov, who owns a crypto mixer, Lichtenstein hacked cryptocurrency exchanges to steal Bitcoin. Lichtenstein said he acquired access to Bitfinex months before executing the heist.

US Government Cracking Down on Crypto Criminals

Sterlingov’s verdict is yet another indication that the United States government is determined to crack down on cryptocurrency offenders, no matter how long it takes.

Sam Bankman-Fried, the former CEO of FTX, was convicted last year after first pleading not guilty to charges of defrauding users of the now-bankrupt cryptocurrency exchange. After the jury trial, he was found guilty on seven counts after hearing testimony from several of the executives who worked closely with him, including his ex-lover Caroline Ellison.

Ilya Lichtenstein was just named a government witness in the Bitcoin Fog case. Changpeng Zhao, former CEO of Binance, is still on trial, and his bail bond was recently changed by the US authorities. He can’t leave the country until he’s sentenced. The Bitcoin Fog creator faces up to 20 years in prison, and his fate now depends on the provisions of the law.

Author: Simeon

Simeon is a seasoned crypto writer with a passion for exploring the fascinating world of blockchain and digital currencies. With a background in finance and technology, Simeon brings a unique perspective to his writing, delving into the complexities of decentralized finance, cryptocurrency trading, and emerging blockchain projects.