Gary Harmon, the brother of Helix CEO Larry Harmon, stole his brother’s forfeited cryptocurrency from the IRS and spent it extravagantly.
An Ohio man named Gary Harmon has pleaded guilty to wire fraud and obstruction of justice for stealing 712 bitcoins from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). The bitcoins had been seized by law enforcement from Harmon’s older brother, Larry Harmon, who is the CEO of a darknet crypto mixing service called Helix. Larry Harmon was arrested in 2020 and later pleaded guilty to conspiracy to launder monetary instruments. He was ordered to pay a $60 million civil penalty and is required to forfeit his ill-gotten gains and cooperate with the government as an informant.
However, while Larry Harmon was cooperating with the government, his younger brother Gary was stealing from them. Gary Harmon used recovery seed words to recreate his brother’s wallets and made a series of eight transfers from them to his own wallets. In total, he stole 712 bitcoins from the IRS, which were worth $5.4 million at the time.
Gary Harmon was previously employed by one of his brother’s companies, Coin Ninja, but was laid off after Larry’s arrest in 2020. Prior to stealing the bitcoins, Gary was on unemployment and lived a modest lifestyle. However, after gaining access to his brother’s wallets, he took out a $1.2 million loan through BlockFi using bitcoin as collateral to purchase a luxury condo in Cleveland. He also spent bitcoin extravagantly at strip clubs and on private jet flights.
In July 2021, federal agents arrested Gary Harmon and searched his Ohio residence, where they found wallets containing approximately $6,000 in bitcoin. As part of his plea agreement, Gary Harmon agreed to forfeit more than $12 million in crypto, including 647 bitcoins, 2 ether, and 17.4 million dogecoins. He has not yet been sentenced and faces a maximum of 40 years in prison.
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