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Bitcoin Exchange Coin.mx Criminal Case Sees Murgio Senior Evade Jail

Last Updated March 4, 2021 4:54 PM
Lester Coleman
Last Updated March 4, 2021 4:54 PM

Michael Murgio, a former Palm Beach County School Board member who pleaded guilty in October to obstructing an examination of a credit union linked to an illegal bitcoin exchange, avoided jail when a judge sentenced him to a year of probation, 200 hours of community service and a $12,000 fine, according to Reuters .

U.S. District Judge Alison Nathan said Murgio was far less culpable than others convicted in the scam and had shown remorse.

Son Pleaded Guilty

Murgio’s son, Anthony Murgio, pleaded guilty earlier this month to conspiring to operate an illicit bitcoin exchange, Coin.mx. Coin.mx laundered cash for Internet criminals, including drug dealers, and facilitated extortion schemes.

The Coin.mx exchange was involved in a hacking scheme that stole information from more than 100 million people, according to prosecutors. Prosecutors said Gery Shalon, an Israeli, owned coin.mx and oversaw the hacking scheme.

Record Hacking Case

Neither Murgio was charged in the hacking case, in which records of more than 83 million accounts were breached, including JPMorgan. The massive bank hack marked one of the biggest thefts of customer data ever.

Prosecutors said Coin.mx operated without a license and exchanged millions of dollars into bitcoin using a front called “Collectables Club.”

Anthony Murgio, 33 and others in 2014 acquired an organization called Helping Other People Excel Federal Credit Union of Jackson, N.J. and bribed its pastor, Trevon Gross, to evade scrutiny of Coin.mx, prosecutors said.

Michael Murgio drafted a letter that falsely claimed the Collectable Club was based in New Jersey after the National Credit Union Administration determined the organization’s board picks were ineligible due to their residency.

In October, Michael Murgio pleading guilty to a lesser charge of obstructing examination of a financial institution, a crime which could have resulted in up to five years in prison.

Also read: Murgio pleads guilty for operating illegal bitcoin exchange

Father Shows Remorse

Michael Murgio told the court Friday he wishes there were a way to take back his actions. Anthony Murgio cried during his father’s sentencing. He pleaded guilty on Jan. 9 to charges. Gross and Yuri Lebedev, who prosecutors claim also worked for Coin.mx, are scheduled for trial on Feb. 6.

Shalon, who prosecutors claim was also connected with online gambling and stock manipulation schemes, has pleaded not guilty. The charges forced the elder Murgio to resign from his school board role.

Featured image from Shutterstock.