Samourai Wallet co-founder Keonn Rodriguez pleads not guilty and is released on $1 million BOND

NEW YORK — Samourai Wallet co-founder Keonn Rodriguez pleaded not guilty to two criminal charges related to the creation and marketing of a privacy-focused Bitcoin wallet application and mixing service in a Manhattan courtroom Monday.

Rodriguez, 35, and his Samourai Wallet co-founder William Lonergan Hill, 65, were arrested last week — Rodriguez in Pennsylvania and Hill in Portugal — and charged with ONE count each of conspiracy to commit money laundering and conspiracy to operate an unlicensed organization for money transfer. business. The maximum penalties for the charges are 20 and 5 years, respectively.

Prosecutors allege that between 2015 and the seizure of Samourai Wallet's servers last week, the app «facilitated more than $100 million in money laundering transactions from illegal darknet markets» and about $2 billion in total in «illegal transactions.»

The arrests and closure of Samourai Wallet come as the US government prepares for a case against Tornado Cash developer Roman Storm and has sparked an outcry among many in Crypto who believe the case is a sign that the government is trying to criminalize financial transactions. Privacy Policy.

In a Department of Justice (DOJ) press release announcing the couple's arrest last week, prosecutors said Rodriguez and Hill «encouraged and openly solicited users to launder the proceeds of crime» and considered «restricted markets» to be their target audience.

Rodriguez was initially arrested around 6 a.m. at his home in Harmony, Pennsylvania.. April 24. He was subsequently released on $25,000 BOND by a Pennsylvania judge and ordered to appear before a magistrate judge for the Southern District of New York (SDNY) on Monday morning.

Magistrate Judge Barbara Moses on Monday ordered Rodriguez's release on a $1 million BOND, accepting the terms set out in a bail package agreed to by both federal prosecutors and Rodriguez's attorneys, Sean Buckley and Michael Keilty of the international law firm Kobre Kim.

Rodriguez's BOND will be secured by real estate in Pennsylvania and the signatures of his wife and another family member.. In addition to traveling to and from court hearings, Rodriguez will remain at home and be monitored by Location Tracking Technology.

Rodriguez's next hearing will be in Manhattan on May 14 at 2 p.m. before District Judge Richard Berman.

Berman oversaw the trial of Mango Markets exploiter Abraham Eisenberg earlier this year.