Two Bitcoin exchange operators from Florida have been charged for running business without obtaining a license.
According to a report published online by the US Attorney’s Office of the Southern District of New York, both Anthony R. Murgio and Yuri Lebedev have been found of negligence to obtain a money transmission license for their underground Bitcoin exchange coin.mx. While this action literally violates the current AML standards set by Feds, it also leads their operators towards facing charges of conspiracies, considering to whom they offered their services during their two-year operations.
The agency’s document clearly noted this possibility, saying that the accused intentionally ducked the necessary registration and reporting requirements — as per the current US laws — and further charged a fee for their Bitcoin-to-cash services from their customers.
“In doing so, they knowingly exchanged cash for people whom they believed may be engaging in criminal activity,” the US Attorney Office added.
$1.8 Million worth Bitcoin Exchanged
As per the details given in the same document, both Murgio and Lebedev exchanged Bitcoin worth $1.8 million in between October 2013 and January 2015. It was also found that that Murgio had transferred hundreds of thousands of dollars to offshore accounts in Cyprus, Eastern Europe and Hong Kong. If this charge is proved, both of them would be facing at least ten years in prison.
At the end of the day, it was Bitcoin that took the blame for once again being dragged in a criminal conspiracy. Reports like these somewhat act like a reminder to lawmakers when they sketch out digital currency laws.