Hayes faces charges of violating the Bank Secrecy Act (BSA) and conspiring to violate the BSA — each carrying a sentence of up to five years, respectively. Lawmakers built the BSA to curtail money laundering in the US financial system.
The former BitMEX chief exec posted $10 million bond (in cash) upon arrival and is likely headed back to his residence in Singapore, as was previously agreed by Hayes’ lawyer and the judge.
The Department of Justice (DoJ) charged Hayes alongside Delo, BitMEX CTO Samuel Reed, and first BitMEX employee Gregory Dwyer in October last year.
The surrender negotiations were first reported in early March.
While a fugitive of the law, Hayes posted on Twitter and penned long articles covering topics ranging from the multi-billion dollar loss at Melvin Capital over GameStop to the art of professional arbitrage.
Hayes’ coconut quote will no doubt star in court
The DoJ alleges the BitMEX execs left their Seychelles-based crypto exchange wide open to money launderers, and sought to profit from US investors “without regard to US regulation.”
“[…] In or about July 2019, Hayes bragged that the Seychelles was a more friendly jurisdiction for BitMEX because it cost less to bribe Seychellois authorities – just ‘a coconut’ – than it would cost to bribe regulators in the United States and elsewhere,” reads the related DoJ indictment.
Hayes’ lawyers maintain he’s a “self-made entrepreneur who has been wrongly accused of crimes that he did not commit,” and he “voluntarily appeared in court and looks forward to fighting these unwarranted charges.”
With Delo, Reed, and now Hayes released on bail or bond, Dwyer is the last insider still at large, and he’s supposedly in talks to surrender as well. Dwyer’s last known registered address is in Bermuda.
Hayes’ next court date is for set for May 11th.