The E-Currency Exchange LibertyReserve.com Got Shut Down for Laundering $6 Billion
Yesterday, the US Attorney’s office in Manhattan brought charges against the founder of LibertyReserve.com, an online e-currency trading company that an indictment handed down in Manhattan federal court claims was “the predominant digital form of money laundering used by cyber-criminals worldwide.” The site was shut down last week and replaced with the nifty image above. Since its founding in 2006, Liberty Reserve has allegedly moved, stored, and laundered over $6 billion from over one million users who range from your workaday hacker and identity thief to large syndicates involved in drugs, bank robbery, child pornography, gambling, human trafficking, and other delightfully illicit activities.
The prosecution of Liberty Reserve will be the largest international money laundering case in the history of forever and it further shows how the internet, with its new-fangled monetary creations and anonymity can serve as the locus of all sorts shady transactions.
But how did Liberty Reserve and its made-up currency (called LRs) become what prosecutors describe as “the financial hub of the cyber-crime world”? Well, by design.