A citizen from the U.S. may serve five years in prison with a possible $250,000 fine; If he’s found guilty on charges of trading Bitcoins (BTC) and Ethereum (ETH) to his clients without registering his business.
Cryptocurrency business that Michael Yusko allegedly traded with digital currencies through his five companies.
The U.S. Department of Justice recently communicated the charges, charging Yusko in a Bill of Information to operate an unauthorized currency transmittal firm.
Under U.S. federal law, any business that accepts the currency, funds, or other value; that substitutes for currency is deemed a money transmitting business. This comprises fiat currencies such as the U.S. dollar and digital currencies such as Bitcoin (BSV), BTC, and ETH. In addition, such companies must register with the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN); a bureau of the Treasury Department that combats money laundering.
Yusko, who lived in New Orleans, Louisiana, purportedly operated his business from August 2017 to June 2019. He allegedly had four companies, all of which engaged in the sale of digital currencies: Nervous Light Capital, Praetorian Energy, Patriot Concrete Pumping, and Ready Demolition LLC.
Cryptocurrency May Cost More Than Earned
The DoJ is seeking to have Yusko forfeit any property derived from proceeds traceable to the offense. Additionally, suppose DoJ can’t determine any of the property has been sold to a third party or has seen its value diminish. In that case, Yusko shall forfeit any other property up to that value.
Aside from the forfeiture, Yusko is looking at a maximum of five years behind bars for his crime; and up to three years in a supervised release. He will also have to pay a $250,000 fine.
The DoJ has extended to go after digital currency-related offenders, with a sizeable number now behind bars. For example, as reported earlier this month, a California man is set to spend two years in jail over an illegal BTC ATM operation. The operation reportedly processed up to $25 million in BTC. In addition, the DoJ was able to recover over $1 million in BTC, Ether, and cash from the BTC operator.
Seizing BTC used in illegal activities has become quite critical to the DoJ’s efforts in fighting crime. For example, it recently recovered $2.3 million, which was part of the ransom that Colonial Pipeline had paid to Russian-affiliated hackers.
The department recently published a job posting for a digital currency trial attorney for its money laundering and asset recovery division, in line with its recent efforts.
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