A dual Russian-Swedish national was arrested on criminal charges Tuesday at Los Angeles International Airport in connection with his suspected operation of the darknet’s longest-running bitcoin money laundering service.
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Roman Sterlingov, 32, has run Bitcoin Fog since 2011, according to court records. Bitcoin Fog was the first and longest-running cryptocurrency “mixer,” gaining a reputation as a go-to money laundering service for criminals looking to conceal their illegal profits from authorities. Over the course of its ten-year service, Bitcoin Fog passed over 1.2 million bitcoins, which were worth about $335 million at the time of the transactions. The majority of this cryptocurrency came from the darknet market.
Sterlingov has been charged in the District of Columbia with money laundering, running an unlicensed money transmitting service, and money transmission without a license.