Bitcoin scam

US-Based Bitcoin Trader Pleads Guilty to Operating Illegal Exchange Business

A California-based, 21 year old, Bitcoin trader faces as much as five years in jail after pleading guilty to operating an illegal money transfer business. As per the news released by the United States Attorney’s Office of the Southern District of California, the Bitcoin Trader, Jacob Burrell Campos, has admitted to the court that he was operating an illegal Bitcoin exchange. As part of the plea deal, Campos accepted that the Bitcoin exchange was not registered with the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN),  and that he did not put any know your customer or anti money laundering mechanisms in place.

In the published report, the United States Attorney, Adam Braverman, was quoted as saying:

“Unlicensed money transmitting businesses, especially those operating at or near the border, pose a serious threat to the integrity of the U.S. banking system, and provide an ‘open door’ for criminals to utilize such businesses to launder the proceeds of their illicit activities.”

The report further elaborates on the case by stating that Burrell had sold hundreds of thousands of dollars in Bitcoin to as much as a thousand unsuspecting customers during a span of 14 months starting from January 2015. Burrell had purchased the Bitcoins from a regulated cryptocurrency exchange in the United States, whereby after the closure of his account in the United States over suspicious activity, he shifted his operations to a Hong Kong based exchange. According to the report, Burrell had accumulated Bitcoins worth USD 3.29 million via various transactions conducted on the Hong Kong-based crypto exchange from March 2015 to April 2017.

As per his plea agreement, Burrell will surrender USD 823,357 to the US government and will be sentenced to prison for a period of 5 years, beginning from February 2019. US Attorney, Adam Braverman, finished the report on Burrell by saying:

“The Department of Justice will continue to investigate and prosecute all individuals and businesses that seek to evade the licensing and anti-money laundering requirements under federal law.”