The U.S. criminal trial for BitMex’s former head of business development, Greg Dwyer, has been delayed.
U.S. regulators first took aim at the crypto derivatives exchange in October 2020, when a number of charges came down on the exchange and its operators. Civil charges from the Commodities Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) and the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) claimed BitMEX and its executives violated CFTC rules, like anti-money laundering and know-your-customer procedures. Criminal charges from the Department of Justice claimed co-founders Arthur Hayes, Ben Delo, Samuel Reed and head of business development Dwyer violated the Bank Secrecy Act.
In August of 2021, the CFTC and FinCEN settled their suits with BitMEX. The firm will pay the regulators $100 million and is barred from offering derivatives products and swaps without CFTC approval. The criminal cases against Hayes, Delo, Reed and Dwyer, however, are still ongoing.
Dwyer faces up to five years for allegedly breaching the Bank Secrecy Act. His legal team argued that the Australian crypto mogul had less time to prepare for the charges since he’s been focused on fighting extradition from Bermuda — an attempt that ultimately failed. District Judge John Koeltl agreed. Dwyer’s trial will now be held in October.
All of the defendants have entered not guilty pleas, and Dwyer’s legal team continues to argue his innocence. A spokesman told the Sydney Morning Herald that Dwyer is innocent and the charges are “baseless.” He plans to mount a “vigorous defense,” according to the Herald.
The criminal trials for Hayes, Delo and Reed are scheduled for March. Last August, a spokesperson for the co-founders told The Block that they “look forward to defending themselves in court.”