The Department regulates financial services and products, which include cryptocurrency-related businesses. It awards the two types of licenses that many crypto businesses seek — a money transmitter license and a BitLicense.
Previous experience: Silk Road, cryptocurrency, FIFA
The announcement quotes the superintendent of financial services Linda A. Lacewell on the past achievements of the new general counsel Richard Weber:
“Rich brings unquestioned integrity, legal acumen, and management experience to DFS. His extensive leadership experience and depth of legal knowledge will be vital in helping the state emerge stronger and safer from this unprecedented crisis.”
The announcement also points to his previous experience at the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and his role in some of its prominent investigations including Silk Road:
“At the IRS, Mr. Weber led a team of over 3500, managing complex investigations of financial crimes involving money laundering, tax, sanctions evasion, cyber, cryptocurrency, bribery/foreign corruption, fraud and terrorist financing. Mr. Weber supervised and conducted significant money laundering and sanction evasion investigations and prosecutions against financial institutions and spearheaded high profile investigations into FIFA and Silk Road and was responsible for over the forfeiture of over $15 billion in criminal penalties.”
History of Silk Road
It is not clear whether Weber was brought on specifically for his expertise in investigating crypto-related crimes. In addition to the Silk Road case, he was part of other high-profile investigations such as corruption in FIFA, and had previously worked for UBS and Deutsche Bank.