US Sentences Man to 3 Years in Prison for Operating Unlicensed Bitcoin Exchange Business – Regulation Bitcoin News

US Sentences Man to 3 Years in Prison for Operating Unlicensed Bitcoin Exchange Business

A California man has been sentenced to three years in federal jail “for working an unlicensed enterprise that exchanged at the least $13 million in bitcoin and money, typically for drug traffickers,” the U.S. Department of Justice stated. He agreed to forfeit numerous belongings, together with seized cryptocurrency.

Bitcoin Exchange Operator Sentenced to 3 Years in Jail

The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) introduced Thursday {that a} California man, Hugo Sergio Mejia, was sentenced “to 36 months in federal jail for working an unlicensed enterprise that exchanged at the least $13 million in bitcoin and money, typically for drug traffickers.”

The 50-year-old San Bernardino County man pleaded responsible on July 1 to “one rely of working an unlicensed cash transmitting enterprise and one rely of cash laundering,” the DOJ detailed.

Mejia operated a cryptocurrency change enterprise changing bitcoin to money and vice versa from May 2018 to September 2020. He charged commissions for these transactions however by no means registered his enterprise with the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN). In addition, he established corporations to masks his true exercise, together with Worldwide Secure Communications LLC, World Secure Data, and The HODL Group LLC, the Department of Justice detailed, elaborating:

During the almost 2½-year interval, in accordance to the plea settlement, Mejia exchanged at the least $13 million.

The DOJ described that Mejia met with a consumer who was working with legislation enforcement a number of occasions between May 2009 and March 2020 “to change bitcoin for tens of 1000’s of {dollars} in money.”

While conducting an change of 14.273 bitcoins for $82,150 in money plus charges in March 2020, the consumer who labored with legislation enforcement knowledgeable Mejia that “his main buyer was a methamphetamine purchaser in Australia who bought methamphetamine each 4 to six weeks and bought it in Australia for 5 occasions greater than the typical value in the United States,” the DOJ defined.

The Justice Department famous, “Mejia and the consumer who was working with legislation enforcement carried out 5 bitcoin-cash transactions that cumulatively exceeded $250,000,” including:

As a part of his plea settlement with the federal government, Mejia agreed to forfeit all belongings derived from the unlawful conduct, together with $233,987 in money seized from residences in Santa Ana and Ontario, silver cash and bars, and roughly $95,587 in numerous cryptocurrency seized.

Do you suppose Mejia ought to go to jail for 3 years? Let us know in the feedback part beneath.

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