FBI agents arrested Palm Beach County School Board member Mike Murgio Thursday on charges that he participated in a bribery scheme that aided an illegal money-transfer business operated by his son.
Murgio, 65, was arrested Thursday morning at his home west of Palm Beach Gardens and later released on bond. He is scheduled to be arraigned in New York federal court next week.
Murgio’s arrest comes 10 months after his son, Anthony R. Murgio, was indicted on charges that he operated an unlicensed money-transfer business that used bitcoins, a virtual currency, to launder cash for online criminals.
To shield the scheme from scrutiny, federal prosecutors say that in 2014, Michael Murgio and his son paid bribes to the chairman of a credit union in Jackson, N.J., in order to take control of the institution.
Anthony Murgio and his accomplices then operated the credit union “as a captive bank for their unlawful bitcoin exchange,” a federal indictment alleges.
Prosecutors allege that Anthony Murgio, a graduate of Palm Beach Gardens High School, formed the bitcoin company, Coin.mx, in 2013 and laundered at least $1.8 million in the virtual currency for thousands of customers.
Thursday’s arrest shook the Palm Beach County School District, which released a statement saying that the charge against Murgio did not appear to involve his official duties.
“It is our understanding that it was a personal matter and unrelated to his responsibilities as a school board member or to any school district business,” Schools Superintendent Robert Avossa said.
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