Arrests Feb 18, 2020

Helix Owner Busted for Laundering Funds From Darknet Markets

Helix and Grams operator busted by law enforcement

In one of the latest happenings on the darknet, a middle-aged Bath township male resident was recently convicted by the federal court for running a dark web site responsible for laundering over $300 million worth of bitcoins. Most of the cryptocurrency is suspected of having facilitated a large portion of illegal underground trades in the darknet.

According to the grand Jury in Washington D.C, the mogul now turned convict goes by the name Larry Dean Harmon faces multiple charges for his actions. The authorities declare that the thirty-six-year-old operated a mixing/tumbling service on the dark web. Such services are fast gaining popularity amongst cryptocurrency enthusiasts and dark web traders alike for their uncanny ability to conceal the address of the sender.

Authorities in charge of the case disclosed in a statement that Harmon's operation, which was branded as Helix, was in cahoots with the well-known darknet marketplace, AlphaBay.

It provided these crypto-tumbling services for Alphabay users who desired to have increased anonymity in the transactions. The partnership is said to have started in 2016.

AlphaBay itself has garnered a notorious reputation for dealing in the dark web commerce of illegal narcotics, stolen identity documents, phished login credentials, amongst other unlawful items. The marketplace was eventually brought down in late 2017, and numerous reports confirmed that the site was responsible for countless cases of overdose amongst the American youth.

Helix, the tumbling site, is suspected of having facilitated the mixing of about 354,468 bitcoins, an amount that roughly translates to $311 million. The charges were below 2.5% of the amount to be transacted. The site is also believed to have had quite an extensive and diversified partnership portfolio. It had partnership agreements with other major darknet marketplaces such as Agora, Nucleus, and Dream Market.

The grand jury accused Harmon in December. Among the charges include conspiracy to launder money, operating an unlicensed money transmitting business and facilitating money transfer without a government license. His case was furthered on the sixth of February in an Akron federal court after the feds raided and searched his residence in the same Akron area.

Here, the authorities found a jpeg photo in his laptop with browser tabs open for Helix. Corresponding federal agents in Belize also raided and searched a vacation property he leased in the area. Harmon had already sensed some incoming trouble, and he shut down the service in December 2017.

The man's entrepreneurial spirit was also evident, given that he was also the owner of Coin Ninja and Harmon Web Innovations. In addition to this, he also owned a search engine called Grams, which was closely affiliated with the Helix to the point that most people referred to it as Grams-Helix. This piece of intel was puzzled up after a Grams administrator page was also found in the jpeg photo on his machine after the search raid.

Federal authorities are now pressuring Harmon to give of his illegally acquired properties as penalties for his illegal dealings, some of which include a house in Yellow Creek as well as others in Akron and Colorado. Harmon had also amassed quite an attractive cryptocurrency repository with claims from the relevant authorities detailing that he had an equivalent of $57 million worth of bitcoin. Investigative officers suspect that there other unidentified accounts belonging to him.

The court's decision was to retain Harmonin will be convicted in Washington, D.C. American magistrate, judge Kathleen Burke said that he faces many years in jail.

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