Former BitMEX CEO Arthur Hayes Avoids Prison Time, Sentenced to 2 Years Probation



The co-founder and former CEO of the crypto derivatives platform BitMEX was sentenced to two years of probation, with the first six months to be spent in home confinement.

  • In late 2020, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) accused the company’s co-founders – Arthur Hayes, Benjamin Delo, and Samuel Reed – of operating a digital asset trading venue without implementing adequate anti-money laundering rules.
  • BitMEX had to pay a penalty of $100 million while the three co-founders stepped down. More recently, Hayes, through his lawyers, filed a request for leniency in his sentencing, which was scheduled for May 20.
  • Cited by Bloomberg, the sentencing became official yesterday, in which the US District Judge John Koeltl granted Hayes’ wish, and he will not head to prison. Instead, he got a two-year probation sentence and will have to spend the first six months in home confinement.
  • This came even after several US prosecutors argued that Hayes’ punishment should be more severe and should send a signal to the entire crypto industry. During yesterday’s hearing, Assistant US Attorney Samuel Raymond told the federal judge that this is a “very serious offense” and added:

“There were real consequences. When individuals like Mr. Hayes operate platforms without anti-money-laundering programs or know-your-customer programs, they become a magnet for people to launder money.”

  • The Assistant Attorney added that such a light sentence will “send a message to him that the cost of doing business is merely a fine, and he could continue to violate the law for huge amounts and pay any fine. This case is being closely watched by cryptocurrency exchanges and other companies around the world.”
  • On the other hand, Hayes took full responsibility for his actions and promised that he was “ready to turn the page and start again.”
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