On Feb. 6, 36-year-old Ohio resident Larry Dean Harmon was arrested on his home for conspiracy to commit money laundering, operating an unlicensed money transmitter business and money transmission without a license, laundering an amount of over $300 million.
These cases were filed against him when an investigation found out that Harmon was allegedly connected to one of the leading ‘darknet marketplaces’ called AlphaBay– which was already seized by the police in 2017. The family of Harmon insists that the suspect did not have any relationship or business connection with Alphabay, which resulted in the family to launch a GoFundMe for Harmon.
US DOJ said that Harmon made a crime after being a bitcoin mixer
According to the verdict, Harmon admittedly created a bitcoin mixer called ‘Helix’, which was used to send transactions out in mixed batches, so individual payments are harder to trace.
The United States Justice Department Assistant Attorney General Brian Benczkowski made the verdict and said that what Harmon did was clearly an illegal laundering act.
“Helix enabled customers, for a fee, to send bitcoins to designated recipients in a manner which was designed to conceal and obfuscate the source or owner of the bitcoins,” the indictment continues. “This type of service is commonly referred to as a bitcoin ‘mixer’ or ‘tumbler.'”
“This indictment underscores that seeking to obscure virtual currency transactions in this way is a crime,” he added.
Though the process of Harmon was seen to be illegal according to Federal Law, the wife of Harmon named Margot explained that her husband did not do anything illegal as he just wanted to help people to conceal their identities when buying certain things like adult films or sex products through the bitcoin mixing.
“Larry has always been an advocate for privacy. He doesn’t know any bad guys from the dark web. He just wanted to help people have better privacy,” she told CoinDesk on Thursday.
GoFundMe for Larry Harmon
As the hearing continues, Margot did not stop to support his husband for his expenses during the trial and for his faster release. And since all of Harmon’s assets were frozen, and denied bail were implemented to his case, his family decided to launch a ‘GoFundMe’ account that aims a goal of reaching $100,000.
As of Thursday, Feb. 14, the account has only reached over $200. The GoFundMe account narrates that Harmon is “a man with a loving family, ties to his community, and the presumption of innocence is being held by the justice system because they believe some of the bitcoin may or may not of been involved in illegal activity.”