Liberty Reserve co-founder pleads guilty to money laundering

Vladimir Kats, a co-founder of the Costa Rica-based online currency company, pleads guilty to several charges in US federal court.

One of the co-founders of Liberty Reserve, which was abruptly shut down by the US government in May , pleaded guilty "to money laundering and operating an unlicensed money transmitting business" on Thursday.

Vladimir Kats was arrested in May for his alleged involvement in running the Costa Rica-based online currency company. US prosecutors accused the site of setting up a digital currency exchange to launder money, resulting in 55 million transactions that allegedly laundered more than $6 billion in funds for "crimes, including credit card fraud, identity theft, investment fraud, computer hacking, child pornography, and narcotics trafficking." Along with Kats, prosecutors in Spain, Costa Rica, and the US arrested four other people for their alleged roles in Liberty Reserve.

Kats plead guilty to several charges, according to the US Department of Justice, including:

One count of conspiring to commit money laundering, which carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison; one count of conspiring to operate an unlicensed money transmitting business, which carries a maximum sentence of five years in prison; one count of operating an unlicensed money transmitting business, which carries a maximum sentence of five years in prison; one count of receiving child pornography, which carries a maximum sentence of 40 years in prison and a mandatory minimum sentence of 15 years in prison; and one count of marriage fraud, which carries a maximum sentence of five years in prison.

A sentencing date has not yet been scheduled.

 

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