Saturday, December 16, 2017
Business

Tampa man accused of illegal Bitcoin exchange getting attention in New York

Tampa resident Anthony Murgio appeared in a Manhattan court Monday to face federal charges that he ran an illegal Bitcoin money exchange and is thought to have information about last summer's hacker attack against JPMorgan Chase, the New York Times reports.

Tampa Bay Times readers may recognize the name Anthony Murgio from earlier coverage in July that said authorities accused him of involvement in laundering cash for criminals.

The federal complaint says Murgio, 31, registered the domain Coin.mx, which he used to host a business that exchanged cash for bitcoins, an anonymous form of Internet-only currency, beginning in late 2013. Investigators say Murgio and his co-conspirators knowingly exchanged cash for bitcoins for thousands of victims of online ransom-ware attacks by Russian hackers. The cyberattacks locked users' computers and Murgio would then unlock those computers for a price — enabling the criminals responsible to receive proceeds from their crimes, according to investigators.

Appearing in court Monday, Murgio remained silent. His high-profile attorney is Greg Kehoe of the Greenberg Traurig firm. He is a former defender and prosecutor of international war criminals whose work includes time on a tribunal facing former Iraq dictator Saddam Hussein.

Monday's Manhattan court hearing was brief. Murgio "has run a number of less-than-successful businesses since graduating from Florida State University," the New York Times stated. He remains free on $100,000 bond, but faces up to 20 years in prison if convicted of money laundering.

News reports say Murgio is the son of Palm Beach County School Board member Mike Murgio.

Murgio does not face charges related to the JPMorgan hack last year but federal authorities believe the FSU business graduate and a fellow FSU fraternity Phi Sigma Kappa brother have knowledge of the incident. Both young men, according to a Bloomberg profile this week, were determined to become successful entrepreneurs.

Contact Robert Trigaux at [email protected]

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