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Two Men Charged with Operating Darknet Marketplace Empire Market and Processing $430 Million in Transactions

Two men, Thomas Pavey and Raheim Hamilton, have been charged by federal prosecutors in Illinois for owning and operating a darknet marketplace called Empire Market. The site allowed users to anonymously purchase illegal goods and services using cryptocurrency, and processed $430 million in transactions from 2018 to 2020. Pavey and Hamilton were already in custody for separate charges related to counterfeit currency on another darknet market, AlphaBay. The new charges against them include drug trafficking, computer fraud, access device fraud, counterfeiting, and money laundering, with a maximum sentence of life in prison. $75 million in cryptocurrency, as well as cash and precious metals, were seized during the investigation.


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