back to article '$6bn money-laundering website' Liberty Reserve kingpin cuffed in Spain

Shadowy online money exchange Liberty Reserve has been shut down by the US feds, its dotcom website seized - and its founder arrested. He and six others are accused of running a $6bn global money-laundering operation, the biggest of its kind, according to prosecutors. In a string of dramatic events, On Friday, cops in Costa …


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  1. venneford

    Yo have to be an established bank to get away with this kind of behavior.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      ... Without "admitting or denying wrongdoing".. They just pay a small fine...

      "Among the questions that Judge Jed Rakoff demanded an answer to in reviewing the SEC's recently proposed "no admit, no deny" settlement with Citigroup was the following: "Why should the Court impose a judgment in a case in which the S.E.C. alleges a serious securities fraud but the defendant neither admits nor denies wrongdoing?"

  2. Daniel B.

    Not surprised...

    Late to the party, El Reg ... this blew up on Friday!

    Most, if not all of the e-wallet/money transfer services will ask you for official ID before even letting you move money. Which means that either these guys were very naive (doubtful) or they were fully aware that the service would be used by criminals.

  3. ecofeco Silver badge

    One MEElLION dollars

    What? Really? Your kidding? Really?

    Make that... one BEELLION dollars!

  4. Franklin

    Does this mean I can look forward to a reduction in the flood of phish emails trying to steal my nonexistant Liberty Reserve password I've been seeing in my inbox lately?

  5. asdf


    Was expecting the usual Merken bashing and comparisons to the Stasi. Guess there was too much smoke associated with the baddies on this one to defend them. Yes our government sucks but how exactly is yours much better? Golden rule is world wide (have the gold make the rules).

  6. BornToWin

    It's all good

    Some more scumbags bite the dust and a lot of illegal money now belongs to authorities. I'll bet there are a lot of puckered arses right about now and one way booked flights.

  7. David A

    Their (now seized) website looks serious, with a focus on customer service and security. Also reasonable fees it appears. Wish my bank were like that.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Erm, jurisdiction?

    First, how can the US indict a Russian living in Costa Rica with Costa Rican nationality.

    Second, Liberty Reserve as a Costa Rican entity is dependent on Costa Rican law with respect to being a money transmitting service.

    Exactly, how, do the US presume to have any jurisdiction?

    1. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

      Re: Erm, jurisdiction?

      The government doesn't need jurisdiction to indict - an indictment is just a formal assignment of charges. They need jurisdiction to prosecute.

      Citizenship is not a requirement for prosecution. If a foreign national comes to the US and kills someone, they can be indicted by a US grand jury, prosecuted, sentenced, and punished. This probably has a chilling effect on the potentially profitable murder tourism industry, but them's the breaks.

      And as with any indictment against a foreign national, the government is claiming that said person has committed a crime against the US. That may mean a crime physically committed on US soil, or one that otherwise falls under US jurisdiction - for example by making use of US banks. Having made such a claim, they'll request extradition. What happens after that is up to the state where the accused is currently residing.

      That's how it's worked for pretty much all modern nation-states from the time they entered the club of "normalized" international relations.

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  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Presumed Innocent

    "[....] unless and until proved guilty."

    Err... shouldn't that be "until and unless".

    1. asdf

      Re: Presumed Innocent

      presumed innocent until and unless proven broke."

      There fixed it for ya.

    2. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

      Re: Presumed Innocent

      shouldn't that be "until and unless"

      Oh, do explain why you think it makes a difference. That ought to be good.

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