We wouldn't be looking forward to any holidays in that household.
Out of Harmony
Talk about family drama.
As Decrypt reports, an Ohio resident named Gary James Harmon was sentenced on Thursday to four years and three months in prison for stealing 712 Bitcoin from his brother, Larry Dean Harmon, back in 2020.
At the time of the theft, the Bitcoin would have been worth a healthy $4.8 million. At the time of Gary Harmon's sentencing, though, coins' value had swelled to a staggering $21 million plus — greatly increasing the stakes of the theft.
The Disgusting Brothers
But this case is way more complicated than simple theft between siblings.
As it turns out, Larry Harmon has also been convicted of crypto crimes, as he was arrested back in February 2020 for running a coin-mixing service — basically, a money laundering service that obscures the origin of crypto funds — dubbed Helix, which according to Decrypt processed roughly 350,000 Bitcoin between 2014 and 2017.
It's probably not all that surprising to learn that Larry's operation was deeply woven into the market of illegal darknet drug sales. Law enforcement caught on, and per a US Department of Justice (DOJ) press release, the Helix owner was hit with a $60 million fine after pleading guilty to money laundering conspiracy.
And it was in the middle of Larry's legal troubles, apparently, that Gary saw an opening to snag some valuable Bitcoin for himself, secretly transferring a number of his brother's funds to his wallets before running them through two other coin mixers.
"Knowing that the government was seeking to recover the bitcoin stored on the seized device for forfeiture in Larry Harmon's criminal case, Gary Harmon used his brother's credentials to recreate the bitcoin wallets stored on the device and covertly transfer more than 712 bitcoin... to his own wallets — stealing those funds and obstructing the pending criminal forfeiture proceeding," reads a separate DOJ press release regarding Gary's arrest.
While some folks argue that coin mixers are essential for ensuring crypto users' privacy, the Harmon brothers couldn't be better poster children — or, uh, poster grown-crypto-bros? — for the very good reasons why law enforcement agencies really hate the controversial obscuring services. (To that end, however, mixers have effectively been banned in the US since 2022 as the result of a ruling against a popular mixing service dubbed Tornado Cash.)
In any case, we definitely wouldn't be looking forward to any holidays at the Harmon household, at least not anytime soon.
More on crypto crimes: Crypto Guy Forced to Sell Apes after Falling for Scam