However, it failed to register with the US Department of the Treasury as a money transmitting business and was operating without even the basic anti-money laundering controls, such as know-your-customer procedures. The domain names libertyreserve. The site was shut down two years later in May , the same month that Kats was arrested in Brooklyn. Digital Money World. USA Today.
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Liberty Reserve was a Costa Rica -based centralized digital currency service that billed itself as the "oldest, safest and most popular payment processor, serving millions all around a world". Prosecutors argued that due to lax security, alleged criminal activity largely went undetected, which ultimately led to them seizing the service. In May , Liberty Reserve was shut down by United States federal prosecutors under the Patriot Act after an investigation by authorities across 17 countries. The United States charged founder Arthur Budovsky and six others with money laundering and operating an unlicensed financial transaction company. Service was popular among currency brokers and multilevel marketing companies. Internal Revenue Service criminal investigation unit, declared, "If Al Capone were alive today, this is how he would be hiding his money". Liberty employees were required to sign a confidentiality agreement to "maintain in strict confidentiality all information" about the company, including "administrative affairs, operations and financial details" for 15 years after leaving the company.
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By Emily Flitter. The indictment unsealed on Tuesday said Liberty Reserve had more than a million users worldwide, including at least , in the United States, and virtually all of its business was related to suspected criminal activity. The use of digital currency has expanded over the past decade, attracting users ranging from video gamers looking for ways to buy and sell virtual goods to those who lack faith in the traditional banking system.
The founder of the digital currency service Liberty Reserve has been sentenced to 20 years in prison. Prosecutors in New York said many of its clients had been cybercriminals who had sought to move funds anonymously. Liberty Reserve had advertised itself as the internet's "oldest, safest and most popular payment processor