The US government has taken action against the cryptocurrency mixing service Samourai Wallet [1] [2] [3], arresting founders Keonne Rodriguez and William Hill on charges related to money laundering and operating an unlicensed money transmitting business [1] [2] [3].


Rodriguez was apprehended in the US [1] [2] [4], while Hill was arrested in Portugal and faces extradition [1] [4]. The indictment alleges that Samourai facilitated over $2 billion in illicit transactions [1], including more than $100 million in money laundering from illegal dark web markets and decentralized finance protocols [1]. In collaboration with Icelandic authorities [4], the US government seized Samourai’s web servers and domain, leading to the shutdown of the mobile application. The FBI and IRS-CI worked together to uncover the alleged criminal activities of Rodriguez and Hill [1], who developed Samourai in 2015 as a mobile application for anonymous financial transactions [1]. The application offered features such as a cryptocurrency mixing service called Whirlpool and a transaction obfuscation service called Ricochet [1], which were used by criminals to conceal the source of illicit funds [1].


The dismantling of Samourai Wallet highlights the government’s commitment to combating financial crimes in the cryptocurrency space. By disrupting illicit activities and holding individuals accountable, law enforcement agencies are sending a clear message that illegal financial transactions will not go unpunished. Moving forward, it is crucial for regulators and authorities to remain vigilant and proactive in addressing emerging technologies that can be exploited for criminal purposes.