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Man steals $20 million worth of Bitcoin from brother

Crypto investors are under fire from new malware

Ohio’s Gary James Harmon has been sentenced to four years and three months in prison, after he stole 712 Bitcoin which belonged to his brother. The boy pleaded guilty in January to a number of charges that could have earned him a total sentence of 40 years. At current rates, his brother’s 712 Bitcoin is worth about $20 million.

What happened?

The 712 Bitcoin came into Harmon’s possession after his brother Larry Dean Harmon was arrested in February 2020 for maintaining a coin mixer called Helix.

Between 2014 and 2017, Harmon’s mixer processed about 350,000 Bitcoin and maintained partnerships with various darknet markets.

When Larry Dean Harmon was arrested, his wallets were also seized. However, before the US government could get to it, Gary James Harmon managed to send himself 712 Bitcoin from his brother.

He then passed that Bitcoin through all kinds of mixers, making it difficult to trace. In the end, he agreed to hand over the assets in question to the US government.

After all the adventures and wanderings, it was 17.4 million Dogecoin, 647 Bitcoin and just over 2 Ethereum. All told, these coins are worth about $20 million.

America and mixers

It is clear that the American government does not like mixers. Earlier in 2022, Tornado Cash was also banned in the United States, which is a mixer developed for Ethereum.

In principle, a mixer is nothing more than a tool to guarantee your own privacy. However, for many criminals it is interesting to cover their tracks, so the relationship of the authorities with these types of services is twofold.

The developer of Tornado Cash – Alex Pertsev – was detained in the Netherlands for a long time, but has now been released. On April 28, he jokingly announced this by stating that he was “away from his keyboard for a while” and asking his followers if he had missed anything.

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