California Bitcoin Dealer Indicted for Money Laundering


Authorities have indicted a 21-year-old Bitcoin dealer for money laundering as he sold $750,000 in Bitcoin across the US.


Across the world, governments are grappling with how to regulate cryptocurrency. Some are heavy-handed in their approach, while others just seek to put some regulations in place for consumer protection. One thing that all governments frown upon is someone looking to ignore regulations and use cryptocurrency to launder money. When someone thumbs their those at the government by doing that, that’s when the hammer comes down.

Illegal Bitcoin Dealing

Case in point is Jacob Burrell Campos, a 21-year-old man from Rosarito. He was arrested by law enforcement when he tried to enter the United States from Mexico via the Otay Mesa Port of Entry.

His crime? Well, Campos faces a 31-count indictment. Chief among the charges is money laundering. It seems Campos has been a pretty busy Bitcoin dealer. He traveled across the United States, selling $750,000 in bitcoins to more than 900 customers. In all, he was involved in 971 transactions.

However, Campos did not register with the US Department of Treasury, not to mention complying with their money laundering laws. In fact, he went out of his way to engage in shady deals where he took a 5 percent cut, allowing people to wash their dirty dollars into clean cryptocurrency.

Indicted for Multiple Counts of Money Laundering

Of the 31 counts in his indictment, 28 of those are for money laundering. This is due to Campos sending 28 wire transfers totaling $900,00 to a bank account in Taiwan. After getting kicked off a US exchange for not verifying his identity, Campos switched to buying bitcoins off Bitfinex.

Compounding his legal woes, Campos also sought to smuggle in more than $1 million into the US from Mexico with the aid of several other people. Each movement was under $10,000 so as to not legally be obliged to report it when crossing the border.

Unsurprisingly, Campos was denied bail. This is due to the fact that he has access to a large sum of money, has close ties with Mexico, and has citizenship in 3 countries. The judge believes that if let out of jail, Campos would be a flight risk.

No trial date has been set as of yet. Depending upon the statute, Campos is facing 10 to 20 years behind bars for every money laundering conviction.

Do you think this Bitcoin seller will cut a deal to reduce his prison time? Let us know in the comments below.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock.

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