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Grams Admin Admits Laundering $300 Million in Bitcoin

The administrator of Grams, one of the first darkweb search engines, pleaded guilty to money laundering charges.

Larry Dean Harmon, 38, of Akron, Ohio, pleaded guilty to a count of Conspiracy To Launder Monetary Instruments. Court documents revealed that Harmon had created Helix, a well-known Bitcoin tumbler, from 2014 to 2017. Harmon was indicted in early 2020.

A picture of The interface for Grams search resembled a different search engine.

The interface for Grams search resembled a different search engine.

Harmon admitted that Helix partnered with several Darknet markets, including AlphaBay, Evolution, Cloud 9, and others, to provide bitcoin money-laundering services for market customers. In total, Helix moved over 350,000 bitcoin – valued at over $300 million at the time of the transactions – on behalf of customers, with the largest volume coming from Darknet markets. Harmon further admitted that he conspired with Darknet vendors and marketplace administrators to launder such bitcoins generated through illegal drug trafficking offenses on those Darknet marketplaces.

As a part of his plea, Harmon agreed to forfeit more than 4,400 bitcoin, valued at more than $200 million at today’s prices.

In 2016, an FBI investigator in the District of Columbia transferred 0.16 Bitcoin from an Alphabay wallet to Helix. The service mixed the Bitcoin and provided the FBI with Bitcoin that was not directly traceable to Alphabay.

A picture of

The FBI also knew about Harmon’s communications with the administrators of the Evolution darkweb marketplace. Evolution administrators agreed to promote Helix as a “great method” to conduct Bitcoin transactions. Court documents also referenced the Helix API which at least one market successfully implemented.

A picture of Harmon as pictured in a GoFundMe listing

Harmon as pictured in a GoFundMe listing

Harmon faces a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison, a fine of $500,000 or twice the value of the property involved in the transaction, a term of supervised release of not more than three years, and mandatory restitution.

Additionally, the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) announced a $60 million civil money penalty against Harmon. FinCEN reported that Helix, a Bitcoin mixing service designed to “launder” Bitcoin, failed to comply with Bank Secrecy Act (BSA) regulations. They noted that Helix did not incorporate an anti-money laundering system or follow the “Know Your Customer” rules.

Helix openly flaunted existing regulatory requirements and went out its way to create ways for darknet customers and vendors to avoid law enforcement detection. Helix purposefully created a system to facilitate illicit activity, which was recognized by darknet drug vendors like AlphaBay – a marketplace that integrated Helix into its platform. Rather than institute policies and procedures to comply with the BSA, Helix instead instituted policies and procedures that allowed customers of darknet marketplaces to launder bitcoin through Helix

A picture of FinCEN is mad that a money laundering service did not comply with money laundering laws.

FinCEN is mad that a money laundering service did not comply with money laundering laws.

Kilos and Recon have taken place of Grams as darkweb market search engines. Kilos also offers solutions for swapping cryptocurrency, according to the site.

8 Comments
Fucked
21163080 Sun, Aug 22, 2021

Major major fuckups from this guy:

-Accessing Grams/Helix via Tor browser on SAME computer on which he browsed the clearnet and on which he used his real life identity. Didn’t bother to segregate his darknet activities from his clearnet activities.

-Using Google Glass to take a POV picture that includes his laptop screen where you can see the Grams and Tor, and having this picture obviously end up in his Google Drive cloud account.

-Keeping a fucking excel sheet in Google Drive with his exact crypto holdings valued over $50 million.

-Adding this crypto holdings to his Mint.com account to track his over $50 million of dirty crypto.

-Having a fucking backup of Helix site source code, list of his bitcoin addresses and the emails along with his PRIVATE PGP KEY backed up on Apple Time Machine backup that naturally get seized by the Feds.

-Having a mobile app on his phone with his exact crypto holdings.

-Using HitBTC account in his real name and sending Bitcoin cash from his Helix earnings earnings to his HitBTC account.

-Increasing his expenses despite no main source of income for the past 5 years (besides liquidating bitcoin for Fiat).

-Keeping multiple crypto hardware wallets in his office - wallets that contained his dirty Helix crypto.

-Deciding to stay in fucking USA despite making over $50 million illegally.

wow
65c8f6a0 Mon, Aug 23, 2021

best comment...no other words needed, people listen up!

question
cea6ee90 Fri, Aug 27, 2021

Where did you read this stuff?

source
0ef04f00 Tue, Aug 31, 2021

plz link source where you got info

legendary
71182100 Sun, Aug 22, 2021

LEGEND this guy is

noacessdarknet
22163b90 Wed, Aug 25, 2021

why writer darknetlive not make news that ALPHABAY is back??? writer don't know?

anonymous
1ca853d0 Sat, Sep 4, 2021

the fuk are you talkin about? Alphabay is back? Alphabay real owner suiceded by hanging himself in the custody of Thai police in Thailand four year ago... You are on a scamming site...

Fucked
05acb7a0 Sat, Sep 4, 2021

Where did you read this stuff?

It’s all in the official court case documents / transcripts, obtained via PACER. Took like 5 hours to go through hundreds of pages, but it’s really informative if you’re into this stuff.

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