On May 6, the DOJ announced that U.S. District Judge Denise L. Cote sentenced the founder of a Costa Rica-based virtual currency company to 20 years imprisonment and ordered him to pay a $500,000 fine for charges related to illegal money laundering. According to the DOJ, the individual owner, at all relevant times, directed and supervised the company’s operations and was aware that cybercriminals, such as credit card traffickers and identity thieves, were using the “digital currency empire” to launder the proceeds of illegal activity. The DOJ further asserts that the company “grew into a financial hub for cybercriminals around the world, trafficking the criminal proceeds of Ponzi schemes, credit card trafficking, stolen identity information and computer hacking.” When the government shut the company down in May 2013, it had more than 5.5 million user accounts worldwide and more than 78 million financial transactions processed, valued at more than $8 billion. Prior to the sentencing hearing, the owner pleaded guilty to one count of conspiring to commit money laundering; four other co-defendants also pleaded guilty, with two individuals being sentenced to five and three years in prison and two others awaiting sentencing.