Up to 127 years for CEO who laundered Mexican cartel funds with bitcoin

The CEO of a Las Vegas Internet firm is facing up to 127 years in prison after being convicted of using bitcoin to launder over $4 million in funds linked to Mexican cartels and a charity targeted by hackers, the Department of Justice (DoJ) announced this week.

Fifty-one-year-old Martin Mizrahi used his internet firm LV.net to receive funds from various illegal schemes. He then laundered the money by converting it into bitcoin and sending the proceeds to various anonymous crypto accounts. 

Starting in February 2021, Mizrahi received bulk payments of cash from Mexican cartel associates looking to launder drug profits. He also helped launder $3 million stolen from a New York City-based non-profit via an email scam. 

Mizrahi also used his firm to carry out $8 million in credit card fraud, preparing false invoices that he sent to banks and credit card companies to justify the charges.

Read more: United Nations reports USDT used for money laundering across SE Asia

He previously denied the charges, claiming “The funds transmitted to me were simply payment in consideration for bitcoin.” He added, “I fully believed the funds that were wired to me were from a legitimate source and I had no reason to believe otherwise.”

Mizrahi’s trial took 12 days and he was convicted on eight charges, including wire fraud, bank fraud, money laundering, and aggravated identity theft.

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