Liberty Reserve Shut Down by Authorities
This must be a very shocking news to the HYIP community since many, if not most folks, in the industry use Liberty Reserve as payment processor. As of this moment, the site show’s nothing but white space and could mean that the site is disabled.
I was totally unaware of this sad news (I was very busy editing CSS codes for my new WordPress theme) until I logged in into my fb account and saw Charles Scoville’s post on the Ad Hit Profits group. Accordingly, LR owner Arthur Budovsky Belanchuk of Costa Rica was arrested on Spain this Friday. Here’s the full report:
Arthur Budovsky Belanchuk, 39, on Friday was arrested in Spain as part of a money laundering investigation performed jointly by police agencies in the United States and Costa Rica.
Costa Rican prosecutor José Pablo González said Budovsky, a Costa Rican citizen of Ukrainian origin, has been under investigation since 2011 for money laundering using a company he created in the country called Liberty Reserve.
Local investigations began after a request from a prosecutor’s office in New York. On Friday, San José prosecutors conducted raids in Budovsky’s house and offices in Escazá, Santa Ana, southwest of San José, and in the province of Heredia, north of the capital.
Budovsky’s businesses in Costa Rica apparently were financed by using money from child pornography websites and drug trafficking.
New York conviction
According to records from the U.S. Justice Department, on July 27, 2006, Budovsky and a partner identified as Vladimir Kats were indicted by the state of New York on charges of operating an illegal financial business, GoldAge Inc., from their Brooklyn apartments.
They had transmitted at least $30 million to digital currency accounts worldwide since beginning operations in 2002.
The digital currency exchange, GoldAge, received and transmitted $4 million between Jan. 1, 2006, and June 30, 2006, as part of the money laundering scheme.
Customers opened online GoldAge accounts with limited documentation of identity, then GoldAge purchased digital gold currency through those accounts; the defendants’ fees sometimes exceeded $100,000.
Customers could choose their method of payment to GoldAge: wire remittances, cash deposits, postal money orders or checks.
Finally, the customers could withdraw the money by requesting wire transfers to accounts anywhere in the world or by having checks sent to any identified individual.
Budovsky and Kats were sentenced to five years in prison for engaging in the business of transmitting money without a license, a felony violation of state banking law, but got probation.
I’m sure this would be very hard for many folks to accept most specially to those who still have large amounts of money with Liberty Reserve.
The lesson here is to avoid keeping big amounts of money in any payment processor as you can never tell what will happen the next day. As I previously stated here, there were numerous reports about LR blocking accounts with large deposits without any reason.