Paxful CEO Ray Yousef, CTO Artur Shaback, and Ivan Suhharev were all three arrested Saturday in Miami Beach Florida according to the Miami Beach police department.

The primary purpose of the arrests were improper exhibition of  a firearm and the actual route cause of the altercation with authorities when Shaback made himself visible from the balcony of an apartment complex in Miami Beach.

According to Florida statute 790.10 governing the activity:

...any person having or carrying any dirk, sword, sword cane, firearm, electric weapon or device, or other weapon shall, in the presence of one or more persons, exhibit the same in a rude, careless, angry, or threatening manner, not in necessary self-defense, the person so offending shall be guilty of a misdemeanor ...

The offenses are misdemeanors which will be accompanied by a fine not to exceed $1,000 or jail-time of no more than 1 year. Most likely a plea bargain will occur with a small fine.

Ray Youssef (Youssef, Mohamed Azab) has a bit more of a legal battle in front of him being charge with possession of cocaine and hash with intent to distribute, according to the arrest records.

Arrest Records

BookDate: 09/17/2016 BookDate 09/17/2016 BookDate 09/17/2016
DOB: 02/03/1988 DOB 02/27/1988 DOB 02/18/1977
Source: Miama-Dade County 

The marijuana charge (HASH/SELL/POSS/W/INT) is a second to third degree felony and the problem here is that weapons were found with the controlled substance (haven't these guys heard of Colorado?) and that packs a penalty of 5 to 15 years in prison,

Headline Hype

Now before any of this gets too hyped up in the news, let get a couple things straight. These guys were in the privacy of one of their own homes, not in public, and the intent charge is almost a clockwork charge added to any possession charge in an attempt to solidify the original charge of possession. This is common practice.

Certainly not a situation anyone ever wants to find themselves in, but this is more silliness than it is the dramatic headline the local ABC news affiliate in Miami Beach makes it out to sound. 

First of all, the statute regarding the exhibition states the weapons must be displayed in a  rude, careless, angry, or threatening manner to one or more persons. Since its not likely anyone from inside the apartment called the police, it's safe to assume that bystanders that had a view of the private balcony caught a glimpse of a gun and called authorities. I'm not sure that is going to qualify as "in the presence of" and what were these "one or more people" doing invading their privacy of the confines of their home to begin with? It's rather possible the judge might throw this one right out the door. 

Which leads to the drug charges and not to condone this activity but without probable cause for a legal search and seizure this charge could get thrown out as well unless one of them invited authorities inside and granted them permission to search the premises. I somehow doubt this is the way things went down.

I'm sure the prosecution would argue that the firearms would justify probable cause but then again you have the defense that these folks were not in public nor were they threatening the public and its not illegal to own or play around with firearms in your house in the United States.

At the end of the day this is certainly not good news for the blockchain and vitual currency industry and an example of what not to do. That said, its not nearly the hyped up drama the mainstream media is already making it sound like.

We'll have more on this story as it unfolds.


Paxful is a P2P bitcoin marketplace/exchange and payment processing platform that arrived in the blockchain space about a year ago when Backpage was denied services from both Mastercard and Visa. Paxful worked with Backpage to enable bitcoin payments on the classified advertisements platform making it the primary payment option outside of mailing money orders.

Report by dinbits
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