Ex BitMEX CEO Arthur Hayes Pleads Not Guilty to CFTC Charges

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  • BitMEX co-founder and former CEO Arthur Hayes has handed himself into U.S. authorities
  • Hayes pleaded not guilty and was released on a $10 million bond
  • Four former BitMEX high ranking employees have been charged with operating an unlicensed exchange and facilitating money laundering

BitMEX co-founder Arthur Hayes has been released on a $10 million bond after pleading not guilty to financial crimes during a court hearing in Hawaii. Hayes was said last month to have been negotiating his surrender, with April 6 posited as the potential date, and so it has proved. Hayes and his legal team flew to Honolulu where he faced a judge in relation to charges of conspiring to circumnavigate U.S. laws requiring the implementation of money-laundering controls. Hayes pleaded not guilty and was freed to return to Singapore ahead of a trial later this year.

Hayes to Fight “Unwarranted Charges”

Hayes and fellow accused Benjamin Delo and Samuel Reed were the subjects of an indictment released six months ago following a year-long investigation of BitMEX by the Commodity Futures Trading Commission’s (CFTC), with head of business operations Gregory Dwyer also allegedly involved.

The CFTC accused the quartet of not doing enough to prevent U.S. users from using BitMEX, which for many years was an unregulated margin trading site, and also potentially facilitating money laundering due to their lack of AML/KYC protocols. As Hayes appeared before a federal judge in Honolulu his attorneys released a statement which stated that Hayes “is a self-made entrepreneur who has been wrongly accused of crimes that he did not commit, adding that, “Mr. Hayes voluntarily appeared in court and looks forward to fighting these unwarranted charges.”

BitMEX Four Almost Rounded Up

Delo also pleaded not guilty in his hearing last month, with his attorney stating that, “The charges against Ben are unfounded and represent unwarranted overreach by the U.S. authorities.” Reed was arrested the same day as the charges were unveiled against the BitMEX four and released pending trial.

Dwyer is still at large, although his legal team told Bloomberg that, “We have been in touch with the government on Mr. Dwyer’s behalf and have informed them of his whereabouts”, adding that he plans to defend himself.