U.S. authorities arrested the alleged perpetrator behind a $335 million darknet-based bitcoin mixing service, Bitcoin Fog, after analyzing 10 years of blockchain data, the Justice Department announced Thursday.
Roman Sterlingov, 32, is a dual Russian-Swedish national and was arrested Tuesday at the Los Angeles International Airport on charges related to money laundering.
“Bitcoin Fog was the longest-running cryptocurrency ‘mixer,’ gaining notoriety as a go-to money laundering service for criminals seeking to hide their illicit proceeds from law enforcement,” the DOJ wrote in a statement.
Sterlingov used Bitcoin Fog to move over 1.2 million bitcoin, valued at about $335 million at the time of the transactions, the agency added.
The majority of the cryptocurrency allegedly laundered came from darknet marketplaces tied to illegal narcotics, computer fraud, abuse activities, and identity theft, according to the DOJ.
“Analysis of bitcoin transactions, financial records, Internet service provider records, email records and additional investigative information, identifies Roman Sterlingov as the principal operator of Bitcoin Fog,” according to a legal statement attached to the criminal complaint by Internal Revenue Service special agent Devon Beckett.
The Washington Examiner reached out to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia, and a contact for Sterlingov was not immediately available.