IRS seizes Hamilton County properties in cryptocurrency case

John Tuohy
Indianapolis Star
View Comments

A federal grand jury has indicted a former Noblesville man for money laundering in a cryptocurrency operation and the IRS has seized three of his Hamilton County properties.

Maximiliano Pilipis was charged in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Indiana last week with one count of money laundering in connection with the purchase of a home in downtown Noblesville.

Prosecutors said Pilipis, of Florida, reaped at least $9.4 million by illegally trading digital currency in a firm named Arum Capital Holdings between 2007 and 2016. He then used some of the earnings to buy properties in Hamilton County, including $278,984 for a home at 1296 Conner St. , Noblesville, in 2019.

Philips has since sold the home but the Internal Revenue Service has seized three other properties.

A house at 10609 Bur Oak Court, Noblesville, valued at $327,800.

A house at 25098 State Road 37 N., Noblesville, valued at $233,100.

An Aradia property valued at $122,300 not listed in Pilipis' name on property tax records.

The funds were kept in two Morgan Stanley accounts opened in Pilipis' name in Indiana, according to an IRS forfeiture complaint filed with the federal court in November.

Dominican-based Arum traded bitcoin and Liberty Reserve cryptocurrency without registering with the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network of the Department of Treasury, according to the IRS. People engaged in money-transmitting businesses are required to register with FinCEN within six months of starting.

Investigators said Pilipis used the Silk Road Darknet Marketplace to conceal the transfer of funds from Arum to shell accounts.

The FBI describes Silk Road as a “digital bazaar for illegal goods and services,” that it shut down in 2013.  Anonymous buyers and sellers could only access the website through a browser called Tor.

Its founder, Ross William Ulbricht, known online as Dread Pirate Roberts, was sentenced to life in prison for drug trafficking, computer hacking, and money laundering in 2015.

In 2020, the feds seized over $1 billion worth of digital currency from this case.

Call IndyStar reporter John Tuohy at 317-444-6418 or email him at Follow him on Facebook and X/Twitter.

View Comments