A 36-yeah old U.S. citizen from Ohio was charged with money laundering conspiracy, operating an unlicensed money transmitting business and conducting money transmission without a D.C. license. This was announced today by the U.S. Department of Justice in a press release.
According to the indictment, Harmon operated Helix from 2014 to 2017. Helix functioned as a bitcoin “mixer” or “tumbler,” allowing customers, for a fee, to send bitcoin to designated recipients in a manner that was designed to conceal the source or owner of the bitcoin. Helix was linked to and associated with “Grams,” a Darknet search engine also run by Harmon. Harmon advertised Helix to customers on the Darknet as a way to conceal transactions from law enforcement.
“The brazenness with which Helix operated should be the most appalling aspect of this operation to every day citizens. There are bad actors and then there are criminals who facilitate hundreds of other crimes,” said Don Fort, Chief, IRS Criminal Investigation. “The sole purpose of Harmon’s operation was to conceal criminal transactions from law enforcement on the Darknet, and because of our growing expertise in this area, he could not make good on that promise.”
Internationally, the Belize Ministry of the Attorney General and the Belize National Police Department simultaneously executed a search warrant of a residence allegedly leased by Harmon in Belize as U.S. authorities executed warrants in the United States. U.S. law enforcement agencies, coordinated by U.S. Embassy Belmopan, assisted in the Belize action.