Helix CEO’s Brother Admitted To Stealing Over 712 BTC From IRS
- Helix CEO’s brother Gary Harmon has admitted to stealing over 712 BTC from the IRS.
- The bitcoins were seized by law enforcement from the CEO of darknet crypto mixing service Helix after his arrest in 2020.
- Gary Harmon has yet to be convicted, but he faces a maximum sentence of 40 years in prison.
Helix CEO’s brother Gary Harmon has admitted to stealing over 712 BTC from the IRS and spending it lavishly. The value of the stolen cryptocurrency at the time was about $5.4 million, according to Coindesk.
On Friday, Gary Harmon, 31, pleaded guilty to one count of wire fraud and obstruction of justice for stealing 712 bitcoins from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). The bitcoins were seized by law enforcement from Harmon’s brother, Larry Harmon, CEO of darknet crypto mixing service Helix, following his arrest in 2020.
Larry Harmon pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to launder monetary instruments in August 2021. According to his lawyers, his cooperation is “active and ongoing.” But while Larry was cooperating with the government, his brother was stealing cryptocurrency from Larry’s confiscated wallets.
According to a new memo published by prosecutors in August 2021, Gary Harmon used recovered original words to recreate multiple wallets belonging to his brother.
In April 2020, he made eight transfers from Larry’s forfeited wallet Trezor kept in an IRS filing cabinet to his wallet. In total, Gary Harmon obtained 712 bitcoins (equivalent to $5.4 million at the time) from the IRS.
Prosecutors say that Gary initially vehemently denied withdrawing his brother’s wallet, even when presented with evidence that he did so.
After gaining access to his brother’s wallet, upstart Gary borrowed $1.2 million through BlockFi, using bitcoin as collateral, to buy a luxury apartment in Cleveland. He also “spent bitcoins wildly” at strip clubs and on private jet flights.
In July 2021, federal agents arrested Gary Harmon and searched his residence in Ohio. They found wallets containing about $6,000 in bitcoin.
As part of his plea agreement, Gary Harmon agreed to forfeit more than $12 million in cryptocurrencies, including 647 bitcoins, two ethers, and 17.4 million dogecoins.
Gary Harmon has yet to be convicted, and he faces a maximum sentence of 40 years in prison.
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