Helix Admin's Brother Stole Seized Bitcoin

~2 min read | Published on 2023-01-07, tagged CryptocurrencyForfeitsMixer using 389 words.

An Ohio man pleaded guilty to stealing cryptocurrency subject to forfeiture in the Helix case.
According to court documents, 31-year-old, Gary James Harmon, of Cleveland, Ohio, stole more than 712 bitcoin from a hardware wallet seized from his brother, Larry Dean Harmon by law enforcement. Larry Harmon was the creator and admin of the now-defunct Grams dark web search engine and Helix, a Bitcoin tumbler that run from 2014 to 2017.

The indictment against Gary Harmon disclosed that law enforcement seized a Trezor wallet during the arrest of Larry Harmon in February 2020. law enforcement was, however, unable to gain access to the bitcoin stored in the hardware wallet.
In April 2020, Gary Harmon reportedly used Larry Harmon's seed phrase and passphrases to recover eight hidden wallets on the hardware wallet seized by law enforcement. He then transferred a total of approximately 712.6003 bitcoin from the eight wallets to addresses under his control.
Larry Harmon was subsequently ordered to give law enforcement access to the Trezor wallet. This gave Law enforcement agents access to 16 hidden wallets. Gary Harmon had emptied eight of the wallets. The agents transferred approximately 4,169 bitcoin from the wallets to the custody of the US Marshals Service.
In late 2020, Gary Harmon, who had been, receiving unemployment compensation, started spending lavishly. He also made unexplained deposits of thousands of dollars into his bank account. Law enforcement agents monitoring the blockchain discoverd that Gary Harmon had moved at least 518 bitcoin through mixers and into exchanges such as Bittrex.
Law enforcement agents arrested Gary Harmon on June 28, 2021. The arresting agents also seized multiple Trezor devices and recoverd bitcoin worth $6,000 at the time. An indictment filed by a federal grand jury on the same day charged him with eight counts of money laundering and one count each of obstruction of an official proceeding and removal of property to prevent seizure.
Gary Harmon pleaded guilty on January 6, 2023. He also agreed to forfeit assets, including more than 647.41 bitcoin, 2.14 Ethereum, and 17,404,400.64 dogecoin. He will be sentenced on March 17, 2023.
Gary Harmon's brother, Larry Harmon, pleaded guilty to money laundering charges in August 2021. He admitted that through Helix, he helped dark web users move over 350,000 bitcoin valued at over $300 million at the time of the transactions. Larry Harmon's sentencing date has not been set.