Australian bitcoin mogul Greg Dwyer is fighting extradition to the United States from his home in Bermuda even after his co-accused in one of the world’s biggest cryptocurrency scandals have presented themselves to US authorities.
Earlier this month, Mr Dwyer fronted the Magistrates Court in Hamilton, the capital of Bermuda, on July 1, according to local newspaper, The Royal Gazette.
The Age and The Sydney Morning Herald revealed in February that Mr Dwyer, a 37-year-old maths whiz from the Sydney suburb of Gordon and graduate of the prestigious St Ignatius College, Riverview was at the centre of the biggest cryptocurrency scandal in the world.
Mr Dwyer was the first employee at BitMEX, an exchange that blasted onto the cryptocurrency scene about five years ago and quickly grew into one of the biggest players in the sector. BitMEX is estimated to be worth $US3 billion and handles trades with a total end value of $US986 billion a year. Mr Dwyer worked to grow the business alongside its three founders, including high-profile CEO and founder Arthur Hayes.
The US Department of Justice has accused Bermuda-based Mr Dwyer, Mr Hayes and the two other founders of the group, Sam Reed and Ben Delo, of deliberately and wilfully breaching money laundering laws including knowingly accepting fake passports by traders from Iran and allowing crime gangs to launder money through its platform. The four men face five years in jail if found guilty.
The extradition hearing came after the US District Court for the Southern District of New York requested Mr Dwyer, who has spent at least the last three years in the Caribbean country, be extradited to face the charges.
Mr Dwyer’s Bermudan lawyer, Jerome Lynch, told the court his client opted to have an extradition hearing, according to The Royal Gazette. The case will return to court on August 25 and in the meanwhile Mr Dwyer, who lives in the parish of Warwick on the island, has been released on $20,000 bail and handed over his passport.
Mr Dwyer is within his legal rights to ask for a hearing rather than acquiescing to the US court’s request. His co-accused did not seek extradition hearings before agreeing to hand themselves into the US authorities.