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Liberty Reserve shut down for $6bn money laundering scheme

By James Barnes

29 May 2013 at 11:17 BST

Costa Rica-based digital currency firm Liberty Reserve has been accused of running a massive money laundering scheme which, according to US prosecutors, saw the company become the 'bank of choice for the criminal underworld'.

Money laundering: huge scheme revealed

Preet Bharara, the US attorney for the southern district of New York, claimed yesterday that the company was involved in one of the biggest money-laundering operations ever uncovered, describing Liberty as the ‘financial hub of the cyber-crime world’, reports the Guardian.

Criminal activity

So far five men - including founder Arthur Budovsky - have been arrested and charged with money-laundering and with operating an unlicensed money transmitting business while two others named in the US prosecutors’ indictment are reportedly at large.
Liberty – which was incorporated in Costa Rica in 2006 – allowed users to receive payments from anywhere in the world. But according to the indictment, ‘virtually all’ of its activity related to suspected criminal activity.


According to the report, Liberty account holders were not required to prove their identity, allowing layers of anonymity to be added to currency exchanges.
A spokesman for Liberty Reserve is yet to comment.


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