Gary Harmon, the brother of Helix CEO Larry Harmon, has pleaded guilty to stealing 712 Bitcoins from the IRS. Harmon managed to steal the crypto right under the IRS’s nose, and then spent it extravagantly.
This crime took place while Harmon’s brother, Larry, was under investigation for operating a criminal Bitcoin mixing scheme. The investigation into Larry Harmon and his company is ongoing.
A Tale of Two Brothers in Crypto
A family in Ohio has found itself in legal trouble as two of its members face potential prison sentences for cryptocurrency-related crimes.
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Gary Harmon, 31, a resident of Cleveland, admitted to committing wire fraud and obstruction of justice on Friday after stealing 712 Bitcoins from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).
The Bitcoins had been seized by the authorities from Gary Harmon’s older brother, Larry Harmon, CEO of the darknet cryptocurrency mixing service Helix, following his arrest in 2020.
The CEO, Harmon pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to launder monetary instruments back in 2021. As part of his plea agreement, Harmon was required to forfeit his illegal profits and act as a government informant, the details of which are currently “active and ongoing.”
In addition to this, the “CEO” was asked to pay a $60 million civil penalty by the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN). The sentence for Harmon has not yet been decided.
The Daring Harmon Who Stole From The IRS
However, while Harmon was working with the government, his brother, who used to work for one of Larry’s companies, Coin Ninja, stole from them by taking cryptocurrency from Larry’s seized wallets.
According to a memorandum released by prosecutors in August 2021, Gary Harmon used recovery seed words to recreate his brother’s wallets.
In April 2020, he made eight transfers from Larry’s seized Trezor wallets, which were being held in an IRS storage locker, to his own wallets. In total, Gary stole 712 bitcoins, worth $5.4 million, from the IRS.
Gary initially denied the accusations of draining his brother’s wallets, maintaining his innocence despite evidence presented against him, as stated by prosecutors.