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The Bulgarian Prosecutor’s Office has ended its investigation into crypto lender Nexo’s alleged money laundering, stating it did not find any evidence of wrongdoing or criminal activities.
The prosecutor’s office also added that it did not find any evidence of tax offenses or computer fraud against the defendants either.
Bulgarian Prosecutor’s Office Ends Investigation
The Prosecutor’s Office of the Republic of Bulgaria has announced that it is closing its investigation into crypto lender Nexo, citing a lack of evidence. According to news agencies based in the country, the office stated it found no evidence of tax crimes, money laundering, computer fraud, or any other criminal activity. The probe into the company first came to light in January 2023 after authorities stated they had considerable evidence against a Nexo user for illegal activities. Attorney General Siika Mileva had stated at the time,
“The main organizers of the scheme are Bulgarian citizens, and the activity was carried out mainly from the territory of Bulgaria. Evidence has been collected that a person who used the platform and transferred cryptocurrencies has been officially declared a terrorist financing person.”
According to an official statement released by the authorities, the main reason behind the decision to drop charges was that cryptocurrencies and crypto assets are not considered financial instruments in Bulgaria and fall outside of laws for payment services and systems. The charges against the crypto lender were related to events that transpired between 2018 and January 2023. They alleged that defendants Antoni Trenchev, Kosta Kanchev, Kalin Metodiev, and Trayan Nokolov participated in an organized criminal group.
Charges Politically Motivated
Speaking after the dropping of charges against the lending platform, Nexo co-founder and managing partner Antoni Trenchev called the charges politically motivated and stated that they should not have occurred in the first place. Trenchev stated,
“The dropping of all charges made against Nexo and its executives by the Bulgarian Prosecutor’s Office, with their confirmation that there were no crimes, unequivocally shows that the whole attack on Nexo was political and should not have happened in the first place.”
He also stated that the decision stood as a vindication for the good actors in crypto.
“It also goes a long way in clearing our names and is a vindication for all good actors in crypto. We are very content with this result.”
The Nexo Raid
Bulgarian authorities had raided Nexo’s Bulgarian office on the 12th of January over suspected money laundering and tax violations. At the time, Trenchev had called the actions absurd. Nexo stated it was cooperating with the authorities and regulators, stating that it already had stringent anti-money laundering and know-your-customer (KYC) regulations in place and was being targeted unfairly. A Nexo spokesperson stated,
“There are authorities at one of Nexo’s offices in Bulgaria, which is, as you know, the most corrupt country in the EU (European Union). They are making AML and tax-related inquiries about a Bulgarian entity of the group that is not a customer facing but only has back-office functions – payroll, customer support, and compliance. We are one of the most stringent entities with regards to KYC/AML.”
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