Friday, March 4, 2016

Chairman of Failed CU Accepted Bribes from Unlawful Bitcoin Exchange

The former Chairman of the Board of failed HOPE Federal Credit Union (NJ), Trevon Gross, was indicted for accepting over $150,000 in bribes from the operators of, an unlawful Bitcoin exchange.

According to the indictment, Gross allowed Anthony Murgio, Yuri Lebedev, and their co-conspirators to acquire control of HOPE FCU and assisted their efforts in exchange for bribes, which Gross directed Murgio to pay to bank accounts under Gross’s control. In total, Murgio and his co-conspirators paid over $150,000 to accounts under Gross’s control. With Gross’s assistance, Murgio installed his co-conspirators, including Lebedev, on HOPE FCU’s Board of Directors and transferred’s banking operations to HOPE FCU.

The indictment stated that Murgio, Lebedev, and their co-conspirators operated HOPE FCU as a captive bank for their unlawful Bitcoin exchange until at least early 2015. At that time, after discovering that substantial payment processing activity was being conducted through HOPE FCU, the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) forced HOPE FCU to cease engaging in such activity, and Murgio thereafter found new, overseas payment processing channels for his unlawful business. In October 2015, in connection with the charged conduct, the NCUA placed HOPE FCU into conservatorship, and thereafter liquidated it.

Gross is charged with one count of corruptly accepting payments as an officer of a financial institution, which carries a maximum sentence of 30 years in prison.

Read the press release.

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