Crypto pioneer Arthur Hayes has been under investigation by the feds and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission since 2019 and the CEO of fintech company BitMEX could turn himself in on April 6.
The feds filed criminal charges against BitMEX CEO Hayes in October, accusing him of providing a haven for hackers and illegal transactions that helped clients to launder money.
Federal prosecutors in Manhattan indicted Hayes and three BitMEX co-owners, Benjamin Delo, Samuel Reed, and Gregory Dwyer. Hayes remains at large.
The Hong Kong-based BitMEX is one of the world’s biggest cryptocurrency trading exchanges and claims to have processed more than $1.7 billion in daily derivatives transactions.
Hayes, who is living in Singapore, will be able to remain there under the agreement his attorneys are negotiating with federal prosecutors.
Jessica Greenwood, an assistant U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York, said in a Feb. 16 court transcript that her office had been in talks with Hayes’ lawyers about surrendering to U.S. law enforcement officials.
According to a press release, the CFTC alleged that BitMEX received some $11 billion in bitcoin deposits and made more than $1 billion in fees, “while conducting significant aspects of its business from the U.S. and accepting orders and funds from U.S. customers.”
Among the changes, BitMEX is accused of executing futures transactions on an unregistered board and offering illegal options.
BitMEX has distanced itself from Hayes — he stepped down, the firm changed its executive ranks and appointed a new CEO.
Hayes, who lived large with international adventures, “flouted’ the law by operating in the ‘shadows of the financial markets,’”.
Hayes obtained his B.A. in economics at the Wharton School of Business in 2008.
He moved to Hong Kong and worked as an equity derivatives trader for Deutsche Bank and Citigroup.
He was the head ETF market maker at both firms.
In January 2014, he co-founded BitMEX, according to his bio on the Jackie Robinson Foundation website.