DoJ Sues Larry Harmon Over Unpaid $60 Million Fine

Reading Time: 2 minutes
  • The DoJ has sued Helix founder Larry Harmon for the $60 million he owes FinCen
  • Harmon hasn’t paid the fine in the two years since he was hit with it
  • Harmon is awaiting sentencing for money laundering through Helix and Coin Ninja

The Department of Justice (DoJ) has filed a lawsuit against Larry Harmon, creator of the Helix Bitcoin mixer, after he failed to pay the $60 million fine he owes FinCen. Harmon was said to have “wilfully violated” financial law by operating the Bitcoin mixer, and hit him with the fine in October 2020, but Harmon has refused to pay, leading to a lawsuit being filed to recover the amount. Harmon is currently awaiting sentencing after pleading guilty to money laundering charges last year.

Harmon “Wilfully Violated” Bank Secrecy Act

Harmon was arrested in February 2020 after his role in creating both Helix and another mixing service, Coin Ninja, with FinCen arguing that both services were acting as “money transmitters” and “financial institutions”, and that in operating Helix Harmon “willfully violated the BSA’s (Bank Secrecy Act) registration, program, and reporting requirements” as well as claiming that he “openly flaunted existing regulatory requirements.”

As a result of his activities, FinCen fined him $60 million, which he has so far failed to pay, leading to the DoJ opening a legal case against him, arguing for the $60 million plus interest and costs. Harmon will now have to answer to this lawsuit while awaiting sentencing for his prior activities, having pleaded guilty to one count of money laundering last August.

Harmon Faces up to 20 Years in Prison

One of the reasons Harmon may not have paid the fine yet is because he doesn’t have it – as part of his plea, Harmon agreed to the forfeiture of more than 4,400 bitcoin, as well as other seized properties that were involved in the money laundering conspiracy. However, authorities are seemingly pretty sure he still has the wherewithal to pay the $60 million fine.

Hamon faced up to 20 years in prison, plus a minimum fine of $500,000.