Bittrex Faces $53 Million Fine By US Treasury For Sanctions Violations

According to the Treasury Department, Bittrex violated various sanctions programs and failed to sufficiently defend against money laundering.
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On Tuesday, the Office of Foreign Asset Control (OFAC) and the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) announced settlements totaling $53 million with Bittrex.

The department said in a statement:

“Bittrex has agreed to remit $29,280,829.20 for its willful violations of the BSA’s AML program and SAR requirements. FinCEN will credit the payment of $24,280,829.20 as part of Bittrex’s agreement to settle its potential liability with OFAC.”

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OFAC director Andrea Gacki said alongside the announcement:

“Virtual currency exchanges operating worldwide should understand both who—and where—their customers are. OFAC will continue to hold accountable firms, in the virtual currency industry and elsewhere, whose failure to implement appropriate controls leads to sanctions violations.”

According to the press releases, Bittrex reportedly enabled $263,451,600.13 in sanctioned transactions between 2014 and 2017. Despite imposing sanctions on sanctioned people, the business reportedly did not have a procedure in place to screen sanctioned areas such as Syria or Crimea until the end of 2017 and did not file any suspicious activity reports with FinCEN prior to May of that year.

Treasury previously punished BitGo and BitPay for enabling payments in sanctioned areas, although the fines were just a little more than $98,000 and $500,000, respectively. The US authorities fined digital asset exchange Bittrex $53 million, the largest amount imposed by the Treasury Department on a crypto firm to date.

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