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Creator of online money Liberty Reserve gets 20 years in prison

Before the virtual currency Bitcoin there was Liberty Reserve — and its founder just got sentenced to 20 years in prison. Arthur Budovsky, 42, ran an online digital money business out of Costa Rica called Liberty Reserve. The U.S. government contended that the whole thing was just a massive, $6 billion money laundering operation. On Friday, U.S. District Judge Denise L. Cote sentenced him to two decades in federal prison. She said Budovsky did not show “genuine remorse,” according to the Department of Justice. For seven years starting in 2006, anyone could use Liberty Reserve’s website to transfer money with little oversight. All the site required was someone’s name, e-mail address, and birthday. Normally, banks have stricter standards to avoid funneling criminal funds. But that’s exactly what Liberty Reserve turned into, according to federal agents. It became a favorite for stashing cash by credit card traffickers and identity thieves. At its height, according to a …

May 6, 2016 7:32 pm

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