The Liberty Reserve digital money service that was shut down laundered more than $6 billion in criminal cash, US authorities have said…Weekend police raids in 17 countries scooped up Liberty Reserve’s owners, operators and its computer hardware. The Department of Justice said it was the “largest international money-laundering prosecution in history”.

Liberty had about a million users and processed more than 55 million illegal transactions, said DoJ court papers.

The documents allege that seven people involved in running Liberty Reserve set up the digital cash service as a “criminal business venture” designed specifically to “help criminals conduct illegal transactions and launder the proceeds of their crimes”.

The raids in the US, Spain, Costa Rica and other countries led to the arrests of five of Liberty Reserve’s principals, including its founder Arthur Budovsky.

The service’s operators will face charges of money laundering and operation of an unlicensed money transmission system. Also arrested were many of the principal operators of exchanges that fed cash to Liberty for distribution to members of criminal gangs or as the start of the laundering process…

In addition, it said, 45 bank accounts used by the service have been seized and action has been taken to take over the assets of 35 other sites that fed funds to Liberty Reserve for laundering…

Liberty Reserve was so successful that it became a “financial hub of the cyber crime world“, whose users were involved in credit card theft, investment fraud, hacking, child pornography and drug trafficking.

The shutdown has caused problems for legitimate users of Liberty Reserve, said Mitchell Rossetti, head of the EPay Tarjeta service that piggy-backed on LR.

“Thousands upon thousands of LR users are not nor have been involved in illegal activities,” he said, “but now have become victims through the closure and seizure of LR.”

Amazing how thoroughly greed outweighs self-preservation in criminal enterprise. Budovsky presumed that distance and a change in citizenship was sufficient to protect his hustle.

  1. Ken says:

    Who was he hustling? It’s we who are being hustled, being told by government with whom we may exchange, and what we must use to do it. Money laundering is a non-crime and simply a way for government to impose more totalitarian schemes upon the herd.

  2. noname says:

    Money laundering is the process of concealing illicit sources of money as well as abusive tax havens!

    The crime of money laundering is an United Nations Convention Against Illicit Traffic in Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances and Convention against Transnational Organized Crime. It’s a crime to knowingly engage in a financial transaction with the proceeds of a crime for the purpose of concealing or disguising the illicit origin of the property.

    Some notable examples: Bank of New York: US$7 billion of Russian capital flight laundered through accounts controlled by bank executives, late 1990s.

  3. Ray says:

    LR was cheaper than Paypal, someone did not get paid off :/

  4. Captain Obvious says:

    Damn, I was going to use these guys to fund my next startup.

  5. trinkelbinkel says:

    Lol we should raid the Fed and the major banks involved in money laundering for drug gangs, rate rigging to profit from major companies and comodities, and we should take a good look at the people who are selling weapons to terrorists in Syria etc. This is fucked up people!

    • msbpodcast says:

      Like raids are ever going to happen.

      The banksters own the governments.

      The only problem Liberty Reserve have is that they did not align themselves from the start with an existing gang of banksters.

      LR will be back. Its too good an idea not to be.

      They are probably going to have to register themselves as a bank on remote and wild and very under populated Tristan da Cunha and get themselves an extremely favorable tax rate, like .01%, and carry on exactly as before.

      What? You think the source of wealth is a problem?

      These banksters and soulless accountants have never had a problem with slavery, sale of Xylon gas, funding the Third Reich (yes, I am playing the Hitler card,) keeping the gold fillings from the teeth of their victims (anybody who wasn’t running a German bank.)

      I hardly think a little kiddie porn, or organ harvesting, is going to hold them back.

      Since all money is fungible it is impossible to trace the real-world origin of a bit (literally) of direction of a magnetic field in a database.

  6. prairiesurfer says:

    Funny, when bank officials launder billions they pay a fine. When enterprising individuals launder, they get many, many years in jail.

    Wells Fargo and others laundered for the cartels, who is in jail?

    Of all the banking fraud committed during the banking melt down a few years ago, who was even tried or convicted?

  7. M26E4UBB says:

    ALL the worlds commerce is controlled by the banking cartel and anybody that does business outside of their control is a criminal. Doesn’t mater if you did anything else illegal or not.

  8. msbpodcast says:

    How dare they take billions from the, ahem, legitimate banking system and deprive those banks from access to those funds.

    It does not matter that the funds were provided through gambling, prostitution, drugs, arms trading or stolen property.

    Our, ahem, legitimate banks WANT THAT MONEY!!!

  9. Just wunderin says:

    I think this is the first consensus I have seen on this blog.

  10. msbpodcast says:

    Liberty Reserve was so successful that it became a “financial hub of the cyber crime world“, whose users were involved in credit card theft, investment fraud, hacking, child pornography and drug trafficking.

    I was sure I’d see the old Think of the children! hype from the people who only know that you dont lend money to children, partly because they can tell when they’re being swindled and partly because they’re commodities, like pork bellies (they’re organ sources on the hoof or cost effective [read: slave] workforce for all kinds of very unpleasant labor.)

    You are going to discover just what the banksters of the world have in mind for you and near-field communications with the coming implantation of a sub-dermal “cash chip (already in use in Ibiza where the partiers don’t carry cash, or wear any clothes,) the slaves, uh, children of the 99%ers don’t/won’t even get a chance to opt out.

  11. Dallas says:

    Thank you, President Obama for putting a stop to this.

  12. nobody says:

    What a joke. Not one single banker charged with a crime

    Only bankers are allowed to launder for terrorists and drug dealers.

  13. jbenson2 says:

    This will put a damper on the future of Bitcoin.

  14. mojo says:

    Goes to show ya: Doing the citizenship/jurisdiction dance isn’t enough. You need an actual, physical bunker (preferably nuke-proof) in a non-UN country if you want to thumb your nose at the money men.

  15. Uncle Patso says:

    What does this mean for Randall Waterhouse?

  16. orchidcup says:

    Damn. Now I will have to launder my money through Bank of America.

  17. Glen Woodfin says:

    Hardly seems fair that Liberty Reserve gets shut down when Wachovia Bank, now Wells Fargo, was caught laundering billions of Mexican drug cartels money, yet they are still open.

    Seems like if you repackage junk mortgages and sell them as AAA paper around the world or launder drug money while being a member of the Federal Reserve/Rothschild banking system, you get a pass…even bailout money from the government as a reward for your crime.

    For the Guardian story, do a search for, “How a big US bank laundered billions from Mexico’s murderous drug gangs.”

  18. Somebody says:

    So, Glen Woodfin has provided a clue!

    Thanks, Glen! Saves me the trouble.

    Though it is like throwing a steak into a den of vegans.

  19. vivian says:

    if you know you lost your fund in LIBERTY RESERVE shot down, you do need to worry , just email me at with your name and country , i will help you get your funds


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