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US Department Of Justice Arrests Samourai Wallet Founders

US Department Of Justice Arrests Samourai Wallet Founders

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The United States Department of Justice (DOJ) has arrested and charged the founders of the Samourai wallet with money laundering, alleging that they were operating a cryptocurrency mixing service. 

Samourai Wallet founders, CEO Keonne Rodriguez and CTO William Lonergan Hill were both arrested on Wednesday. 

DOJ Arrests Samourai Wallet Founders 

Federal prosecutors charged both founders with conspiracy to commit money laundering as the United States government continues to prosecute crypto mixing tools that foreign governments and illicit actors could potentially use to hide and transfer illegal funds. The Department of Justice, Southern District of New York, announced the charges against the Samourai wallet founders after a thorough and extensive investigation into their activities. 


According to a press release issued by the Department of Justice on Wednesday, Rodriguez and Hill developed, marketed, and operated the mixer, which facilitated over $100 million in money laundering transactions from illegal dark web markets and actors. The Samourai wallet facilitated over $2 billion in unlawful transactions between 2015 and the present day. 

Samourai Wallet Closed For Business 

According to the Department of Justice, activity on the wallet primarily included transactions from dark web markets and schemes to defraud decentralized finance protocols, with both founders accused of developing, marketing, and operating a bitcoin and cryptocurrency mixer that provided criminals a platform to engage in large-scale money laundering. IRS-CI Special Agent in Charge Thomas Fattorusso stated, 

“$2 billion in transactions with an unlicensed money transmitter means $2 billion flowed without any oversight, from whomever to wherever. Because of the company’s disregard for regulation, it’s alleged that Samourai Wallet laundered more than $100 million in criminal proceeds. ”

A Coordinated Effort 

It took a coordinated effort by law enforcement agencies to arrest Rodriguez and Hill. Rodriguez was apprehended in the Western District of Pennsylvania, while Hill was arrested in Portugal. Authorities will now seek Hill’s extradition to the US so he can stand trial. A collaboration with authorities in Iceland led to the seizure of Samourai’s web servers and domain. Authorities also issued a seizure warrant on the Google Play Store for the Samourai wallet mobile application. 

“Special Agents with IRS:CI New York and IRS:CI LA’s Cyber units worked with our federal and international law enforcement partners to not only arrest the founders and CEO but also to seize their domain. Samourai Wallet is now closed for business.”

This ensured that the wallet was no longer available for download in the United States. The FBI Assistant Director in charge, James Smith, stated, 

“Threat actors utilize technology to evade law enforcement detection and create environments conducive to criminal activity. For almost 10 years, Keonne Rodriguez and William Hill allegedly operated a mobile cryptocurrency mixing platform that provided other criminals a virtual haven for the clandestine exchange of illicit funds, the facilitation of more than $2 billion in illegal transactions, and $100 million in dark web money laundering. The FBI is committed to exposing covert financial schemes and ensuring no one can hide behind a screen to perpetuate financial wrongdoing.”

Disclaimer: This article is provided for informational purposes only. It is not offered or intended to be used as legal, tax, investment, financial, or other advice.

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