Roman Sterlingov, who is alleged to be the man behind Bitcoin Fog’s operations, has been arrested in Los Angeles by the US Law Enforcement Agencies. The arrest was made on 27 April 2021 and the reasons given by the authorities are allegations of money laundering and fraud. Sterlingov is facing charges of laundering public money to the tune of US$ 1.2 Million by utilizing Bitcoin Fog. The arrested fellow was running his business for over a decade and executed Bitcoin transactions worth exceeding US$ 336 Million.
Bitcoin Fog is an application that works as a tool for mixing and merging multiple crypto transactions. It is a tool but widely regarded as a “crypto service” that has the potential to maneuver crypto funds transactions if misused.
Roman Sterlingov, who is involved in the crypto business for over a decade, has recently been accused of money laundering and fraud. The accusations have been leveled against him by the US Law Enforcement Agencies. Sterlingov is Russian by birth but is a dual citizenship holder of Russia as well as Sweden. However, he was temporarily residing in the US for the purposes of conducting his Bitcoin relating business.
It has been alleged by US Law Enforcement Agencies that they had credible evidence, which suggested that the accused was involved in money laundering. The Authorities claimed that Sterlingov was single-handedly operating the Bitcoin Fog. They also claimed that the accused was blending Bitcoin UTXOs with the help of Bitcoin Fog.
Bitcoin Fog is not a usual tool that can be obtained easily. For anyone to gain access to it, a person has to first obtain it using an onion address through a network called “Tor”. Onion is a special domain is designed for a specific purpose and was earlier known as “hidden service”. It could be relatable to a “proxy free server or domain” in simple definition, however, still it is much more than a proxy free server.
Internal Revenue Service in the US has raised allegations against Sterlingov that he was deliberately letting the money to be laundered. The Authority noticed that Sterlingov was processing Bitcoin transactions without employing any check and balance. Resultantly, the transactions were untraceable and allowed criminals to launder the money as they wished for.
According to the Authority, Sterlingov has earned approximately eight million dollars’ worth of Bitcoins towards the services he rendered to his clients. It has been shown by the Authority that 1.2 Million Bitcoins were transacted unchecked. When these transactions were allowed to be executed by Sterlingov, they worth roughly US$ 336 Million claimed the Authority.
All the transactional data and physical records seized from Sterlingov have been made part of the evidence. The accused will now be allowed the opportunity to have a proper trial where he will face the charges of money laundering.