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NEW YORK Bitcoin qualifies as money, a federal judge ruled on Monday, in a decision linked to a criminal case over hacking attacks against JPMorgan Chase & Co and other companies.
U.S. District Judge Alison Nathan in Manhattan rejected a bid by Anthony Murgio to dismiss two charges related to his alleged operation of Coin.mx, which prosecutors have called an unlicensed bitcoin exchange.
Murgio had argued that bitcoin did not qualify as "Funds" under the federal law prohibiting the operation of unlicensed money transmitting businesses.
"Anthony Murgio maintains his innocence and looks forward to clearing his name at his upcoming trial," he added.
Prosecutors last year charged Murgio over the operation of Coin.mx, and in April charged his father Michael with participating in bribery aimed at supporting it.
He hired new lawyers last month and is seeking permission to replace lawyers who joined the case in June, a Monday court filing showed.
NEW YORK A Florida man pleaded guilty on Monday to charges that he conspired to operate an illegal bitcoin exchange, which prosecutors said was owned by an Israeli who oversaw a massive scheme to hack companies, including JPMorgan Chase & Co(JPM.N).
Anthony Murgio, 33, entered his plea in federal court in Manhattan to three counts, including conspiracy to operate an unlicensed money transmitting business and conspiracy to commit bank fraud, a month before he was to face trial.
Prosecutors said Murgio operated Coin.mx, which without a license exchanged millions of dollars into bitcoin, including for victims of ransomware, a computer virus that seeks payment, often in the virtual currency, to unlock data it restricts.
Prosecutors said Coin.mx was operated from 2013 to 2015 through several fronts, including one called "Collectables Club," to trick financial institutions into believing it was a members-only group interested in collectables like stamps.
Prosecutors said the men carried out the cybercrimes to further other schemes with another Israeli, Ziv Orenstein, including pumping up stock prices with sham promotional emails.
Five other individuals have been charged in connection with Coin.mx, including Murgio's father.
Two Israelis and an American hacked into JPMorgan Chase, Fidelity, Dow Jones, and nine other companies in the largest cyber-attack on US financial institutions ever - stealing personal data of more than 100 million customers, the feds said Tuesday.
"We have exposed a cybercriminal enterprise that for years successfully and secretly hacked into the networks of a dozen companies, allegedly stealing personal information of over 100 million people, including over 80 million customers from one financial institution alone," Bharara said.
The three, along with co-conspirator Anthony Murgio, had previously been accused of hacking into JPMorgan last year and stealing personal information from 83 million customers.
The hackers were involved an extremely broad array of cybercrimes, from hacking to operating illegal online casinos and running an illegal bitcoin exchange-all to become massively wealthy in short order, according to the indictment.
The four conspirators tried to hack into the financial companies in order to get rich off manipulating the stock market, according to the indictment from Bharara's office.
While the JPMorgan hack was successful in getting some customer information, others were less so.
Bitcoin exchange operator Anthony Murgio, who facilitated illegal transactions for cyber fraudsters and illegal online gambling websites, was sentenced to 5 1/2 years in prison this week. UPDATE, 6/27/17: Anthony Murgio was sentenced to 66 months (over five years) in prison. In Bitcoin’s short and distinguished history of multimillion-dollar frauds, Anthony Murgio’s illegal Coin.mx Bitcoin exchange stands as one of the most ambitious and catastrophic schemes to ever come crashing down in a Manhattan court room. On Monday, Murgio became the third individual associated with ... Anthony Murgio, 33, of Tampa, pleaded guilty on Jan. 9 to three conspiracy counts, including bank fraud and operating an unlicensed money transmitting business. Anthony Murgio, a Florida man who was charged last month by federal prosecutors in Manhattan with running an illegal bitcoin money exchange firm and is thought to have information about last ... A man charged by U.S. prosecutors for operating Bitcoin exchange Coin.mx without a money transmission license has been released on bail.
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