Arrested Bitzlato Exchange Founder Seeks Help From Crypto Community – Anatoly Legkodymov, who co-founded and holds a majority stake in the cryptocurrency exchange Bitzlato linked to Russia, is seeking assistance from the crypto community in locating US citizens who could serve as guarantors to secure his release on bail.
Law enforcement in Europe caused a disturbance in the operations of the trading platform, which is registered in Hong Kong, in mid-January. French investigators confiscated its servers and hot wallet, while some of its employees and executives were apprehended in different countries.
A Russian citizen living in China, Legkodymov, was arrested in Miami for allegations of money laundering. The U.S. Justice Department asserts that his exchange transferred a minimum of $700 million in illegal earnings from sources like ransomware groups, darknet markets, and cryptocurrency schemes.
According to the Russian crypto news outlet Bits.media, Legkodymov’s legal team stated that U.S. law permits defendants to secure release on bail while awaiting their case outcome, given they find individuals willing to act as guarantors. This week, Legkodymov reached out to the cryptocurrency community seeking assistance in this matter.
A group of Russian associates urged those who wish to help him to reach out on Telegram, stating: “The crypto community knows Anatoly as a decent, law-abiding person and wants to help him get out of prison on bail until the end of the trial.”
According to the report, “Anatoly Legkodymov” has been engaged on the Bitcointalk.org forum since 2011 and also on the Bits.media forum since 2016. The report further mentions that “Anatoly Legkodymov” and his partners commenced their trading enterprise under the name Changebot, which eventually evolved into Bitzlato.
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In mid-March, Legkodymov made his initial appearance in a federal court in New York where he was remanded in custody without bail. Despite the accusations of money laundering leveled against him by the United States, the Russian national maintains his innocence. In February, Anton Shkurenko, another co-founder of Bitzlato, was taken into custody, interrogated, and subsequently released by the Russian authorities.
During a recent interview on Youtube, Shkurenko disclosed that Bitzlato plans to shift its base to Russia and recommence operations from there. It has been reported that earlier this week, the exchange partially reinstated users’ access to their BTC balances.