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Crypto Capital boss nabbed after allegedly laundering $390M

The payment processor has links to Bitfinex which says it's holding $880M of the cryptocurrency exchange's 'lost' funds

cryptocurrency arrest

The head of payment processor Crypto Capital has reportedly been arrested by Polish authorities on money laundering charges.

Ivan Manuel Molina Lee is accused of being part of an international drug cartel involved in money laundering operations using embattled cryptocurrency exchange Bitfinex to siphon funds between Latin America and Europe.

According to several Polish news outlets, Lee, who was first arrested in Greece, was extradited to Warsaw under police escort.

Polish authorities say Lee was wanted in Poland for laundering up to 1.5 billion zloty or about $390,000,000 “from illegal sources.”

Crypto Capital is believed to have held accounts in Bank Spółdzielczy in Skierniewice (Central Poland) and is accused, alongside Bitfinex, of laundering illegal proceeds throughout the entire country, Polish prosecutors say.

This, however, is not the first time Lee has landed in hot water. His business, Crypto Capital, allegedly lost $850 million of Bitfinex’s cash in the lead up to a $1 billion token sale. More recently, a brand new lawsuit alleged that Bitfinex and its sister company Tether manipulated the digital currency market. Crypto Capital was also named in the suit, and plaintiffs in the case estimated the damages to the cryptocurrency industry at more than $1 trillion. 

“This the largest effort by Polish prosecutors to secure losses associated with illegal activity,” Polish prosecutors said, adding that they had collaborated with national and international special forces.

The arrest comes just days after Bitfinex filed a  subpoena application in California to recover the ‘lost’ funds from Crypto Capital. 

Published October 25, 2019 — 09:45 UTC