U.S. Bitcoin Trader Sentenced to Jail for $164,700 Money Laundering Using BTC
A quondam crypto trader and exchange operator from Arizona, U.S. was sentenced to 41 months in hoosegow because of laundering drugs money using Bitcoin.
On Wednesday, the Justice Department officially
announced the sentence, after Thomas Mario Costanzo was convicted by a federal jury on five major charges associated with money laundering on March 28. The sentence will be added to the time that was already served since his detention in April last year.
Funds From Heroin & Cocaine Traffickers
Last year, the federal agents forayed Thomas’ residence based on suspicion of illegal possession of ammo, and in addition to money laundering via a peer-to-peer Bitcoin exchange firm he managed.
The facts and observations presented in support of an assertion to the court later indicated that Thomas had laundered roughly $164,700 within a period of two years via Bitcoin transactions.
The release indicates:
“When undercover federal agents approached Costanzo and told him that they were drug dealers, Costanzo provided them with bitcoin and told them it was a great way to limit their exposure to law enforcement.”
Thomas was further found culpable for buying drugs using Bitcoin and involving the online Bitcoin exchange to aid other people to purchase drugs without following know-your-customer authentication protocols.
80 BTC to be Forfeited
At the moment of Thomas’ conviction, the DoJ noted that each of the five charges of money laundering has, in fact, a max sentence of 2 decades in prison.
However, the court decided that 80 bitcoins seized from Thomas, offered by him to the clandestine agents, will be immediately forfeited.
Recently, an former Bitcoin trader and exchange operator residing in Los Angeles called “Bitcoin Maven” was also given a 12-month sentence in Federal prison after she admitted to operating an illegal money transmission business.