Notorious Crypto Industry Figures Arrested in 2020

Over the past year, many prominent and colorful personalities from the crypto ecosystem have been arrested. From the imprisonment of antivirus pioneer John McAfee to the filing of charges against the executives of one of the world’s largest exchanges, 2020 did not allow criminals to dismantle the reputation of cryptocurrencies.

During the first ten months of 2020, CipherTrace estimates that losses from theft, hacking, and fraud amounted to a whopping $1.8 billion, partially fueled by the rise of various DeFi platforms.

The report suggests that 2020 recorded the second-highest value in losses related to cryptocurrency crimes after 2019.

Let’s take a closer look at some of the most prominent figures involved in legal matters in 2020.

Arthur Hayes

On October 1, the United States Department of Justice filed criminal charges against BitMEX founder Arthur Hayes. In fact, three of his associates face accusations of violating the Bank Secrecy Act. The US Commodity Futures Trading Commission filed a civil lawsuit against Hayes and his company for breaching anti-money laundering regulations. The Hong Kong resident has been missing from the public lens ever since.

John McAfee

Tech savant, crypto evangelist, and eccentric millionaire John McAfee has been leading the cryptocurrency train. McAfee was detained in Barcelona by local authorities in October 2020. Due to a connection with the tax evasion charges that the US government imposed against him. In fact, he was also accused of fraudulently promoting several questionable cryptocurrency projects. 

Matthew Piercey

The FBI arrested the 44-year-old man from Shasta County, California, on November 16 while trying to flee authorities with a jet ski. Matthew Piercey is currently facing multiple wire fraud charges, mail fraud, money laundering, and witness tampering. If convicted, Matthew could spend life in prison.

Harpreet Singh Sahni

In October 2020, Indian law enforcement authorities claimed that Sahni and his close assistants had allegedly scammed $50 million from clients. He promoted a scheme called “Plus Gold Union Coin.” It promised to provide sponsors with benefits ranging from $5,000 to $8,000 a day. Consequently, Sahni now faces about 24 years in prison and is awaiting his sentence.

Conor Freeman

The US Department of Homeland Security identified Dublin IT professional Conor Freeman as the man behind a robbery involving more than $2 million in cryptocurrency. Feds arrested him on November 16 and forced him to hand over more than 142 Bitcoin.

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