Co-founder of indicted money exchange extradited to U.S.

viernes 10 de octubre de 2014 16:57 GYT

By David Ingram

NEW YORK Oct 10 (Reuters) - Spanish authorities have extradited to the United States a co-founder of the digital currency exchange Liberty Reserve to face charges that his creation was an unlawful money-laundering operation, U.S. prosecutors said on Friday.

Arthur Budovsky, 40, arrived in New York on Friday and was scheduled to appear in U.S. District Court on Tuesday, the U.S. Justice Department said in a statement.

Liberty Reserve had more than one million users worldwide, including at least 200,000 in the United States, before it was shut down in May 2013, according to the Justice Department.

Virtually its entire business was processing payments related to criminal activity, including child pornography, drug trafficking and computer hacking, prosecutors said.

Another co-founder of the exchange, Vladimir Kats, pleaded guilty in October 2013 to conspiracy to launder money and other charges. He has not yet been sentenced.

Three other people who worked on the exchange have also pleaded guilty. Authorities said they are still looking for two people who were indicted in the alleged conspiracy.

It was not known if Budovsky had been assigned a lawyer.

Prosecutors said that Budovsky operated an earlier digital currency exchange called E-Gold before moving to Costa Rica to avoid U.S. authorities and operate Liberty Reserve. He renounced his U.S. citizenship in 2011 and is a citizen of Costa Rica, they said.

(Reporting by David Ingram; Editing by Bernard Orr)