Former BitMEX CEO Arthur Hayes is requesting a non-incarceration sentence from a federal judge in Manhattan. The controversial cryptocurrency guru also wants to be able to travel freely across the world. Hayes and co-founder Benjamin Delo pled guilty to breaching the Bank Secrecy Act in February. In March, the third BitMEX executive, Samuel Reed, followed their lead.
Hayes faces a maximum sentence of 12 months in prison under his plea agreement. The government has yet to submit sentencing recommendations to the court. According to Hayes’ lawyers, the case has had an extraordinary influence on his life.
Hayes co-founded BitMEX in 2014, after working as an equities trader for Citigroup. After his exchange emerged as the major derivatives platform that governed the crypto market, he became one of the most powerful figures in the bitcoin business.
Hayes’ fall from glory happened almost as quickly as his climb. In October 2020, authorities in the United States charged him and his co-founders with conspiring to violate the Bank Secrecy Act.
Hayes made a reputation for bribing Seychelles regulators with coconuts. The court on the other hand, barred the government from bringing up this very offensive remark during hearings, concluding that it was a joke.
The Commodity Futures Trading Commission also filed a legal complaint against the beleaguered exchange. It settled with the regulator in August for a $100 million fine, which some industry analysts saw as a slap on the wrist. Despite his impending imprisonment, Hayes remains active in the cryptocurrency world recently forecasting that Bitcoin’s price may reach $1 million.
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