A $6 billion scheme has been uncovered by U.S. authorties today that indicts the founder of Liberty Reserve and others involved in the scheme.
Wired reports that the $6 billion scheme that was just revealed today in court documents is the largest international money-laundering scheme ever prosecuted. This was the result of Liberty Reserve serving as the hub in which cybercriminals used to transfer funds among each other. In short, Liberty Reserve is responsible for the transfer of dirty money.
Liberty Reserve was a favored tool among hackers and cybercriminals as it only required a user’s email address to set up an account. It was also popular for only charging 1 percent on all transactions while offering to hide account numbers for only 75 cents more. As you can plainly see, it’s obvious why the service was so popular among the online criminal underground.
During last week, arrests were made in Spain, Costa Rica and New York, One of those arrested was Arthur Budovsky, a Costa Rican of Ukranian descent and founder of Liberty Reserve.
It should be noted that Liberty Reserve was a legitimate money transfer business. The company had plenty of legitimate customers who are now caught in the crossfire of the U.S. prosecuting the site for serving criminals. It’s similar in a way to Kim Dotcom’s Megaupload as it was taken offline, and its founder indicted, for a few instances of copyright infringement while legitimate users of the service were left without recourse. It will be interesting to see if legitiate users of Liberty Reserve will come forward in the coming weeks demanding recompense.