Samourai Wallet Founder Pleads Innocence to DOJ’s Charges

The executive, Keonne Rodriquez, now faces movement restrictions following a temporary release on a million-dollar bond.

Samurai is getting released from tight chains, clouds are blowing around him.
Created by Kornelija Poderskytė from DailyCoin
  • The arrested co-founder of Samourai Wallet, Keonne Rodriguez, is challenging the DOJ’s charges.
  • Rodriguez has been released on bond with restrictions.
  • United States authorities have intensified enforcement actions against service providers.

The United States Department of Justice (DOJ) has recently turned attention to the crypto industry, fishing for questionable service providers and illicit financial activities. On April 24, 2024, the ongoing scrutiny led to Bitcoin mixer Samourai Wallet, when the DOJ took aim at its founders for criminal charges of money laundering and illegal operations. 

Despite the weight of the leveled charges, one of the executives has challenged the authorities’ indictment.

Samourai Founder Not Guilty?

According to recent court documents, Samourai Wallet co-founder Keonne Rodriquez pleaded not guilty to the two Justice Department’s individual charges of conspiracy to commit money laundering and operating an unlicensed money-transmitting business.


Rodriguez’s plea followed his voluntary surrender to authorities around 6:00 am UTC on April 24, following the DOJ’s announcement of his and his partner William Lonergan Hill’s indictment.

Bail document.
Source: PACER

The Samourai Wallet co-founder has since been released on a bond of $1 million, albeit with restrictions. According to the official document, Rodriguez is subject to house arrest until his next hearing on May 14, 2014. Additionally, the mixer’s founder faces restrictions from traveling and is subject to location monitoring and pre-trial supervision.

However, Keonne Rodrguez’s partner has yet to enter a plea with the DOJ as he awaits extradition from Portugal, where he was arrested. The legal proceedings against the Samourai Wallet founders align with the intensifying actions against crypto mixers in the United States, triggering a frenzy across the industry.

Crypto Mixers Exit US as Panic Heightens

Following the DOJ’s indictment of Samourai’s Wallet, self-custodial wallets Phoenix Wallet and zkSNACKs’ Wasabi Wallet announced the suspension of their services in the United States. 


Phoenix Wallet stated that this decision was made in response to the ongoing regulatory crackdown, citing fears about potential accusations of non-compliance with regulations.

Echoing the concerns, Wasabi Wallet also stated that it would block all US residents and citizens. “In light of recent announcements by U.S. authorities,zkSNACKs is now strictly prohibiting U.S. users from using its services. An IP address blocking for U.S. residents is effective on wasabi, and,” the firm stated in a blog post

Both firms have completely ceased services in the US market, including halting access to websites and removing official applications from download platforms for U.S.-based users.

On the Flipside

  • Both Keonne Rodriguez and William Hill face up to 25 years in prison if convicted.
  • Crypto mixer Tornado Cash executives Roman Storm, Roman Semenov, and Alexey Pertsev are embroiled in a legal battle with the DOJ on similar charges.
  • On April 25, the Federal Bureau of I investigation (FBI) issued a warning to American investors, cautioning against the use of non-compliant service providers amid the ongoing regulatory crackdown. 

Why This Matters

The not-guilty plea by Samourai Wallet’s Keonne Rodriguez highlights his denial of the money laundering and illegal transmitting charges leveled against him, and the DOJ is now tasked with proving his guilt beyond a reasonable doubt to secure a conviction.

Read here to discover the criminal cases leading up to the DOJ’s focus on crypto;
Prosecutors Bolster Crime Crackdown Post-SBF Guilty Verdict

The Curve token has significantly underperformed in the past weeks; read more:
Curve DAO Crashes 40% over 30 Days in Rocky Market Downturn

This article is for information purposes only and should not be considered trading or investment advice. Nothing herein shall be construed as financial, legal, or tax advice. Trading forex, cryptocurrencies, and CFDs pose a considerable risk of loss.

Grace Abidemi

Grace Abidemi, a cryptocurrency reporter at DailyCoin, covers industry developments and trends. She previously worked as a freelance writer. With a Bachelor's degree in German Language and certifications in marketing and storytelling, Grace creates engaging content. When not working, she's in Nigeria, mastering cooking and canvas painting, and enjoys learning about different cultures and languages.