Bloomberg published an investigation into the role of the Federation Tower in the Russian and global cryptoindustry. As the journalists found out that about fifty crypto exchangers since 2018 have been located in the building, four of which are involved in criminal investigations in the United States.
The Federation Tower, Europe's second tallest skyscraper, became a major hub for cybercriminals thanks to crypto exchanges that convert cryptocurrencies to fiat, bypassing anti-money laundering laws. The US Treasury linked at least four companies, whose offices are located in the Federation Tower in Moscow City, to laundering money from ransomware viruses. Since 2011, these programs have stolen about $1.6 billion.
Among these companies is the SUEX crypto exchange, accused by the US authorities of helping ransomware hackers. Suex, based on the 31st floor of the Federation Tower, processed at least $160 million in criminal-related transactions since 2018, according to research firm Chainalysis. These transactions accounted for 40% of the company's business. Suex management denies any involvement in money laundering.
On the 22nd floor of the Federation Tower is the office of the crypto exchange EggChange, which, according to three informed sources, is also under investigation in the United States and Europe on charges of money laundering. The US Treasury declined to confirm or deny the investigation into EggChange. Another exchange, CashBank, is also located in the Federation Tower. According to Chainalysis, the Buy-bitcoin.pro crypto exchange, whose headquarters is also headquartered in the Federation Tower, processed transactions worth hundreds of thousands of dollars. Transactions were linked to ransomware viruses and other illegal operators, including Hydra darknet marketplace. EggChange, CashBank and Buy-bitcoin.pro did not respond to Bloomberg requests.
According to Stanislav Bibik, a partner at real estate investment firm Colliers, one of the reasons the Federation Tower attracts crypto exchanges is the trust that the address generates. Operating there “gives status to the tenant and says that he has a solid business,” explains Bibik.
Bloomberg reporters cite the story of one of the clients of the crypto exchange in the Federation Tower. He talked about how he managed to cash out a large amount in cryptocurrencies through EggChange, without providing any personal information and completely bypassing anti-money laundering legislation. All that the exchange asked for was the name and surname of the person, who took the bag of money in order, to write out a pass to the Federation Tower building in his name.