back to article Cyber-moolah boss gets 20 years' porridge for money laundering

The boss of virtual currency exchange Liberty Reserve has been sentenced to 20 years in prison and fined $500,000 after pleading guilty to money laundering. Ten years ago, Arthur Budovsky, now 42, set up Liberty Reserve in Costa Rica to exchange virtual currencies for dollars and euros, taking a one per cent transaction fee …

  1. TeeCee Gold badge

    Tumbleweeds R us.

    No, he can't serve his time in Second Life

    Of course not. Solitary confinement for an entire sentence counts as "cruel and unusual"......

  2. Ole Juul Silver badge


    "Liberty Reserve founder Arthur Budovsky ran a digital currency empire built expressly to facilitate money laundering on a massive scale for criminals around the globe," said Manhattan US Attorney Preet Bharara on Friday.

    I wonder if they were able to prove that LR was set up "expressly" for money laundering for criminals. It seems to me that most financial institutions can be used to facilitate this sort of thing.

    1. TheSkunkyMonk

      Re: expressly?

      Its amazing how much some of the items cost, think you may be onto something...

    2. veti Silver badge

      Re: expressly?

      It's all a matter of definitions, innit?

      If you define "money laundering" as "any transaction carried out deliberately in such a way as to be invisible to state authorities", and "criminal" as "any person who engages in money laundering", then - yes, the proposition pretty much proves itself.

    3. Bronek Kozicki Silver badge

      Re: expressly?

      actually no. Most financial institutions institute "know your customer" policy.

  3. Youngone Silver badge

    On the other hand

    Mossack Fonseca set up something similar, but no-one is even suggesting anyone will face the law. Also the number of posts I've seen on the Internet trying to make the point that "There's no proof any of these trusts were doing anything illegal" makes me wonder how many shills there are around.

    Seem to be a lot to me.

    1. Tom 64

      Re: On the other hand

      There are plenty of alternatives for the poor crims who were using this venture. HSBC, for example.

  4. lglethal Silver badge

    Previous Offence - 5 years reduced to probabtion - WTF?

    How does a 5 year sentence get reduced to probation, but people on assault or theft charges get say 2 years and have to serve it? Surely any crime which gets a sentence longer than 2 years in prison should not even be considered for probation, until half the sentence is served.

    Admittedly, many of the sentencing lengths in the US are frigging insane, but that's beside the point. Reducing a 5 year sentence to probation is absolutely taking the proverbial biscuit!

    1. FredBloggs61

      Re: Previous Offence - 5 years reduced to probabtion - WTF?

      Hmm... taking the something, just maybe more liquid than biscuit

    2. allthecoolshortnamesweretaken Silver badge

      Re: Previous Offence - 5 years reduced to probabtion - WTF?

      Hey, it's not like he did something really heinous like torrenting music or movies and stuff...

  5. This post has been deleted by its author

  6. naive

    How is that useful to Johnny Tapia from Bad Boys 2 ?

    It is kind of unclear to me how such an exchange service is useful to people like Johnny Tapia from Bad Boys, who have their attic full with physical dollar notes obtained by drugs sales.

    If criminals have money in the bank, they can send it to such a service to get it out of view from the authorities. Also it can help people who make a bit of Lindens in Second Life by selling things, to keep their profit out of the grasp from the IRS.

    But for the rest ?.

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