TechBitcoin Fog operator found guilty of laundering $400 million in bitcoins on...

Bitcoin Fog operator found guilty of laundering $400 million in bitcoins on darknet

Exposing the Secretive Operations of Bitcoin –

Author: Michael Thompson – May 21, 2025 10:15 am EST

The recent conviction of Roman Sterlingov, a Russian-Swedish individual, for his involvement in Bitcoin Fog, an infamous bitcoin laundering service on the dark web, has shed light on the clandestine world of cryptocurrency. Sterlingov, who managed Bitcoin Fog from 2011 until his arrest in 2021, facilitated the movement of over 1.2 million bitcoins, equivalent to approximately $400 million. The Department of Justice officially disclosed this information, emphasizing the painstaking efforts made to uncover Sterlingov’s illicit activities by tracing his bitcoin transactions across the blockchain.

Despite protesting his innocence throughout the trial, Sterlingov faced charges of money laundering conspiracy, sting money laundering, and operating an unlicensed money transmitting business. These charges collectively carry a potential prison sentence of up to 20 years for each count of money laundering and five years for operating without the required licenses. While Sterlingov vehemently denies any wrongdoing, claiming that he was merely a user of Bitcoin Fog and not its operator, the vast evidence presented during the trial pointed to his direct involvement in the operation of the site.

The DOJ produced a substantial amount of evidence, totaling over three terabytes, that implicated Sterlingov in the management of Bitcoin Fog. This evidence included a trail of financial transactions linking Sterlingov to the domain registration of Bitcoinfog.com from 2011 onwards. Moreover, blockchain analysis revealed a series of bitcoin payments made prior to Bitcoin Fog’s launch, indicating Sterlingov’s role in setting up the money laundering service.

Bitcoin Fog was notorious for its services as a cryptocurrency ‘mixer,’ allowing users to obfuscate the source of their bitcoins by mixing them in a pool and redistributing them in a way that made tracing their origins difficult. This process attracted criminals who sought to conceal their illicit proceeds from law enforcement authorities by blending them with legitimate funds. Despite the belief that Bitcoin Fog provided an impenetrable barrier to detection, the jury’s guilty verdict against Sterlingov proved otherwise.

Acting Assistant Attorney General Nicole M. Argentieri highlighted the misguided belief shared by Sterlingov and his clients that Bitcoin Fog could effectively mask illegal transactions. However, the successful conviction of Sterlingov by the jury demonstrated that their confidence in the service’s ability to evade detection was unfounded. The sentencing of Sterlingov is scheduled for a later date, marking the final chapter in the unraveling of the infamous Bitcoin Fog operation.

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