US Treasury Accuses Bittrex of Sanctions Violations, Crypto Exchange Agrees to Settle With Regulator – Bitcoin News

On Oct. 11, the U.S. Treasury Department’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) and the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) announced that they had settled the charges with cryptocurrency exchange Bittrex. The cryptocurrency exchange was accused of sanctions violations and failing to “implement effective sanctions compliance checks” between March 2014 and December 2017.

Crypto Exchange Bittrex Accused of US Sanctions Violations, Washington State Trading Platform Agrees to Settle

Washington state-based crypto asset exchange Bittrex has been indicted by FinCEN and OFAC for “116,421 apparent violations of multiple sanctions programs.” According to regulators at the US Treasury Department, the violations stemmed from transactions conducted by “individuals apparently located in the Crimean region of Ukraine, Cuba, Iran, Sudan, and Syria.” US officials say the transactions totaled $263.45 million in crypto transactions that violated US financial sanctions.

OFAC Director Andrea Gacki explained that when Virtual Asset Service Providers (VASPs) fail to take advantage of strict sanctions compliance, transactions can threaten the nation as a whole. “When virtual currency companies fail to implement effective sanctions compliance controls, including detection of customers located in sanctioned jurisdictions, they can become a vehicle for illicit actors that threaten US national security,” Gacki said Tuesday. .

As recently as last March, FinCEN issued red flags about possible sanctions evasion through crypto assets. The year before, FinCEN indicted crypto derivatives exchange Bitmex for “willful violations of the Bank Secrecy Act” and said it assessed $100 million in fines against the exchange. The U.S. Department of the Treasury’s OFAC has also been busy over the past few years sanctioning crypto assets, and most recently, the regulator banned ether-blending app Tornado Cash.

In July 2022, a report published by the New York Times (NYT) citing five people familiar with the matter, said that OFAC was allegedly investigating the San Francisco-based crypto exchange Kraken. On December 30, 2020, OFAC reached a $98,830 settlement with Bitgo for sanctions violations. Bitpay reached a settlement with the Treasury in accordance with an OFAC notice on Feb. 18, 2022, with the crypto payment processor agreeing to “remit $507,375 to settle its potential civil liability.”

For derivative transactions from 2014 to 2017, Bittrex agreed to pay settlements with OFAC and FinCEN for the charges and potential liability brought against the VASP. FinCEN plans to credit a portion of the funds as part of the settlement agreement.

“Bittrex has agreed to remit $29,280,829.20 for its willful violations of the BSA AML program and SAR requirements. FinCEN will credit the payment of $24,280,829.20 as part of Bittrex’s settlement to settle its potential OFAC liability,” the regulator’s notice reveals.

FinCEN details that between 2014 and 2017, Bittrex’s AML program failed to identify risks and the company did not file any suspicious activity reports (SARs) during the three-year period. “Bittrex also failed to file SARs on a significant number of transactions involving sanctioned jurisdictions, including transactions that were suspicious beyond the fact that they involved a sanctioned jurisdiction,” FinCEN’s announcement concludes.

Tags in this story

$263.45M, Andrea Gacki, BitGo, BitPay, Bittrex, Bittrex Global, Bittrex.com, Bittrex AML Program, BSA AML Program, charges, Ukraine Crimea Region, cuba, financial sanctions, fincen, identify risks, Iran , OFAC, sanctions, SAR Requirements, SARS, Settlement, Sudan, Suspicious Activity Reports, Syria, transactions, Department of the Treasury, willful violations

What do you think about Bittrex settling with the US Treasury Department for sanctions violations? Let us know what you think about this topic in the comments section below.

jamie redman

Jamie Redman is the news lead at Bitcoin.com News and a fintech journalist based in Florida. Redman has been an active member of the cryptocurrency community since 2011. He is passionate about Bitcoin, open source code, and decentralized applications. Since September 2015, Redman has written over 6,000 articles for Bitcoin.com News on the disruptive protocols emerging today.




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