A lawyer who led a federal investigation into the darknet market Silk Road is now the top lawyer at the New York Department of Financial Services.
Richard Weber was the head of the Internal Revenue Service’s criminal division for five years and ran the agency’s investigation into Silk Road, the online platform that launched in early 2011 and became notorious for allowing people to use Bitcoin to buy and sell illegal drugs, hacking services and other illicit activities.
Weber is leaving his position as the head of financial crime prevention at UBS, where he ran the bank’s anti-money laundering and sanctions compliance division in the Americas. He says it’s a critical moment for New York State’s powerful agency, which oversees the regulation of financial services and products, including insurance, banking and financial services and cryptocurrency laws.
“The mission of DFS has never been more important than it is now… I am honored to be part of this important agency and serve the people of New York State at this critical time.”
The department was one of the first in the country to introduce tight state-level regulations on cryptocurrency businesses with the introduction of the BitLicense back in 2014.
It has since granted licenses to 24 companies, allowing them to operate Bitcoin and cryptocurrency-related marketplaces in the state.