Tribune: A tub full of bitcoins

Okay, I don’t know Mrs. Harmon. I’m not sure she’s even alive or what the family situation is, but reading a recent article about the Harmon brothers definitely made me think about her.

First, let’s start with her son Larry Harmon. He was the CEO of Helix, a multimillion-dollar company. Sounds impressive, right? Until you find out that Helix is a darknet crypto mixing service company where illegal drugs were sold and that he was fined $60 million by FINCEN and is awaiting a prison sentence for the $311 million money laundering scheme.

Clearly, he’s smart, but not very bright if he thought he was going to get away with it, thought the IRS agents that had seized his bitcoins.

But the IRS soon found out that Larry was not the only one with brains in the Harmon family. It turns out his brother Gary, who had been living on unemployment benefits since the family business was shut down, was sitting in the courtroom during his brother’s bail hearings. He learned that the IRS had been unable to access the bitcoins from Larry’s bitcoin wallet that had been “confiscated” by the IRS.

The IRS may not have been able to uncover the passwords to access the coins, but Gary did. According to one news report, “Authorities watched helplessly [while] Harmon swiped 713 digital tokens valued at about $4.9 million.”1

Clearly Gary’s bright, right? But not too bright. Turns out Gary was so happy with his feat that he had to celebrate. What do you do with millions of dollars that you stole from under IRS agents’ noses? You fill up a bathtub in a night club with cash (even though you are supposedly living on unemployment checks), plop yourself in the middle of it, and then take pictures on your cell phone.

A few watts short of a lightbulb.

1 “Voreacos, David and Tillman, Zoe “Ohio Man Seen in Bathtub of Cash Admits Theft of Bitcoin Held by IRS,” Bloomberg (January 6, 2023) available at: