Anthony Murgio of Sentenced

Crime, FinTech, News | June 28, 2017 By:

Anthony Murgio, the former operator of the now-defunct bitcoin exchange, has been sentenced to five-and-a-half years in prison by a New York judge.

In January, Murgio pleaded guilty to three counts related to cooperating with criminal enterprises involving various ransomware schemes. Murgio admitted to overseeing the exchange from 2013 to 2015 and, in the process, laundering millions of dollars in hacking proceeds disguised as debit and credit card purchases and sales of bitcoin. was owned by Gery Shalon, an Israeli accused of masterminding a hacking scheme with another Israeli, Ziv Orenstein, and Maryland-born Joshua Samuel Aaron. Prosecutors said the men hacked at least nine companies, including JPMorgan Chase & Co., E*Trade Financial Corp., and Dow Jones & Co.

Murgio’s father, Michael, a former Palm Beach County school board member, also pleaded guilty in the scheme. His father admitted roles in operating a phony, Florida-based business called the Collectibles Club. Authorities said the business allowed criminals to buy bitcoins to launder their money under the pretense they were buying stamps and sports memorabilia.

Manhattan Federal Judge Alison Nathan says the victims included a credit union that served a low-income community in Lakewood, New Jersey. Nathan called Murgio’s criminal conduct “dangerous and destructive,” but departed sharply downward from guidelines that called for a prison sentence of at least 10 years. The US District Court Judge opted for a sentencing term of roughly half that amount.