Alleged Cryptocurrency Laundering- Roman Sterlingov.
Roman Sterlingov owned and operated a alleged cryptocurrency laundering company active on the darknet. This organization was what is called a “mixer”. This type of company provides money-laundering services and aids criminals in hiding funds from the government and law. In this case, the organization mainly money laundered cryptos and over the course of its life moved over 1.2 million cryptos which was equal to USD 335 million when the transactions occurred. The majority of this crypto originated from the darknet, which is an encrypted portion of the internet not available to conventional search engines. The darknet can be home to nefarious, usually illegal activities so providing an easy way to launder money was big business for Roman Sterlingov.
Roman Sterlingov, who was a dual citizen of Russia and Sweden national was arrested on April 27th under charges of money laundering, operating an unlicensed money transmitting business, and money transmission without a license in the District of Columbia. His operation was the longest-running crypto money laundering operation on the darknet. It started in 2011 and was taken down in 2021.
Roman Sterlingov was arrested by the U.S. Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigations or IRS-CI. Agents were able to locate and identify Roman Sterlingov by comparing email addresses on the centralized platforms that Sterlingov was a member of. While some may believe that using a centralized cryptocurrency platform is completely anonymous, your data like email address and name are still being collected.
While investigating into the alleged cryptocurrency laundering “mixer” organization, officials stated that they would use chain analysis to locate the owner. However, chain analysis was only able to help them see the volume of coins over the years. This is why it took officials 10 years to track down the perpetrator.
Roman Sterlingov’s charges, related to the alleged cryptocurrency laundering, included three felonies, laundering of monetary instruments, operating an unlicensed money transmitting business, and money transmission without a license. These offences could result in Roman Sterlingov serving over a decade in prison and paying extremely large fines.
The charges in the indictment are allegations, and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.
ISOG can help potential investors with verifying the legitimacy of cryptocurrency platforms and wallets. Where the investor has been defrauded, ISOG private investigators and forensic experts are expert in cryptocurrency fraud investigation and can trace the flow of the crypto up to the cryptocurrency exchanges used to convert crypto coins into currency.