A 21-year-old cryptocurrency trader from the U.S. is being prosecuted for allegedly committing several counts of illegal money transfers and money laundering.
According to an announcement made by the Department of Justice in the Southern district of California, a 21-year-old named Jacob Burrell Campos was ordered by the court to be held without bail at a hearing on August 17 owing to the charges.
Based on a case filed against him on August 8 and unsealed over the weekend, the authorities alleged that, the bitcoin trader sold bitcoins worth over $750,000 to 900 individuals in the country via his bitcoin exchange service, from January 2015 to April 2016.
The court filing further alleged that Burrell had not registered his bitcoin exchange as a legal money transmitter and failed to implement AML (Anti Money Laundering) measures. Owing to that, the trader was accused of one count of illegal money transmission and international money laundering.
Furthermore, the prosecutors said that Burrell committed numerous counts of international money laundering – 28 to be exact – to fund his illegal bitcoin exchange service. He also wired at least $900,000 in multiple transactions from his bank accounts in the U.S. to Bitfinex via its bank account in Taiwan with the Cathay United Bank to buy bitcoins, from February 2015 to February 2016.
According to the document, the money transfers were conducted in an attempt to avoid ID verification processes after the trader’s crypto trading account with crypto exchange Coinbase was closed.
The prosecutors also said in the announcement:
“Burrell’s activities ‘blew a giant hole’ through the legal framework of U.S. anti-money laundering laws by soliciting and introducing into the U.S. banking system close to $1 million in unregulated cash.”
To add to that, Burrell is facing charges of structuring int’l instrument transactions to “evade” reporting, when the defendant tried to smuggle around a million US dollars from Mexico into the U.S.
If the defendant is convicted on any of the charges related to money laundering, the government plans to forfeit “any property, real and personal, involved in such offense, and any property traceable to such property.”