The United States Department of Justice pressed criminal charges against ChipMixer operator Minh Quốc Nguyễn.
The US Justice Department announced on March 15th that it is charging the resident of Hanoi, Vietnam, for his involvement in ChipMixer operations. Minh Quốc Nguyễn is facing multiple charges, including money laundering and identity theft.
ChipMix was a popular crypto mixer used for hiding the traces of stolen funds from ransomware attacks, crypto heists, and other forms of fraud.
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In the announcement shared on March 15th by the United States Attorney’s Office of the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, the authorities noted:
Nguyễn is charged with operating an unlicensed money transmitting business, money laundering, and identity theft. If convicted, he faces a maximum penalty of 40 years in prison.
The action by the US Attorney’s Office comes shortly after the announcement that the United States and European authorities took down ChipMixer servers and confiscated over 1,909 BTC and seven terabytes of data.
The US prosecutors alleged that ChipMixer facilitated multiple illegal activities between 2017 and 2023, including processing $17 million in Bitcoin for criminals connected to several ransomware attacks.
It is also accused of laundering over $700 million worth of Bitcoin tied with wallets used for Harmony’s Horizon Bridge (2020) and Axie Infinity’s Ronin Bridge (2022) attacks.
The platform also allegedly laundered $200 million in Bitcoin associated with the darknet. The platform is also linked with BTC, used by the Russian General Staff Main Intelligence Directorate (GRU) to purchase infrastructure for the malware Drovorub.
Nguyễn was identified as the creator and operator of ChipMixer’s internet infrastructure. The man is accused of promoting ChipMixer and advising consumers on how to bypass Know Your Customer (KYC) and Anti-Money Laundering (AML) security measures.
Furthermore, the accused provided services to US consumers without registering with relevant regulatory bodies. According to a report by Elliptic, ChiMixer processed over $844 million of Bitcoin linked to illicit activities.