April 18, 2021

Cryptheory

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New Jersey man faces 5 years in jail over unlicensed BTC exchange

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A New Jersey man has admitted to operating an unlicensed digital currency exchange for 18 months. He allegedly converted over $2.5 million for his clients without obtaining the required licenses.

William Green appeared before U.S District Judge Kevin McNulty on April 5 to answer to one count of operating an unlicensed money transmitting business. As the Justice Department revealed in a press release, the 53-year-old Wall, New Jersey native pleaded guilty to the charge by video conference.

The DoJ indictment alleges that Green operated the exchange called Destination BTC from August 2017 to February 2019 through a website and various referrals. Green would receive fiat currencies from his clients through cash, wire transfers and online payment processors. He would then convert the funds into digital currencies and then send it to the clients, whom he charged a fee for the service.

Green never registered his business with the Secretary of the Treasury as all money transmitting business operators have to. This was despite admitting that he knew he had an obligation to register his business.

Green faces five years behind bars and a $250,000 fine on charges of running an unlicensed money transmitting business. He will face his sentencing on August 10.

Just a week ago, the DoJ charged a popular Instagram influencer with digital currency fraud. According to the charge, Jay Mazini claimed to purchase BTC at inflated prices from his followers on social media platforms. However, once he received the BTC, he never wired the funds.

The department has continued to be involved in the digital currency industry at a time when regulators are taking a keen interest. Its biggest action has been against BitMEX, a BTC derivatives exchange whose leaders had been flaunting regulations for years. The former CEO Arthur Hayes has recently surrendered to U.S. authorities in Hawaii to face his charges, following the steps of Ben Delo, who also surrendered to U.S. authorities three weeks ago.

Last year, the DoJ made its biggest seizure of digital assets yet. The department seized $1 billion worth of BTC (BSV), BTC, BCH and BTG following an investigation into Silk Road dark web marketplace.

See also: CoinGeek Live panel, Regulation of Digital Assets & Digital Asset Businesses

New to BTC? Check out CoinGeek’s BTC for Beginners section, the ultimate resource guide to learn more about BTC—as originally envisioned by Satoshi Nakamoto—and blockchain.

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