The cryptocurrency exchange Bittrex was fined $24 million for breaking United States sanctions, the Treasury Department announced on Tuesday, the largest penalty the government has imposed on a crypto business for violating sanctions. Between 2014 and 2017, Bittrex allowed customers in Cuba, Iran, Sudan, Syria and the Crimea region of Ukraine to make virtual currency transactions worth more than $263 million, according to the Treasury Department. The company, which is based in Bellevue, Wash., was fined an additional $5 million for breaking rules designed to prevent money laundering and other financial crimes, the government said. Bittrex did not immediately respond to a request for comment. The penalty is part of an expanding effort by the Treasury Department and other agencies to crack down on crypto crime. In August, the department barred Americans from accessing Tornado Cash, a crypto platform that criminals have used to launder billions of dollars in digital currency. U.S. investigators are also probing Kraken, another crypto exchange, for possible sanctions violations, The New York Times reported in July.
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