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Unlicensed Crypto Exchange Charged in New Hampshire

Six people have been charged for running an unlicensed crypto exchange in New Hampshire.

The United States Department of Justice or DOJ, charged six individuals with participating in a “conspiracy to operate an unlicensed cryptocurrency exchange business” together with other offenses.

Five of the individuals charged were also indicted with wire fraud, while the last was charged with money laundering and purportedly “operating a continuing financial crimes enterprise.”

The six individuals were aged between 34 and 60 and went by the following names: Ian Freeman (formerly known as Ian Bernard), Colleen Fordham, Renee Spinella, Andrew Spinella, Nobody (formerly named Richard Paul), and Aria DiMezzo (formerly named James Baker).

The mentioned indictment stated that since 2016, the six individuals operated the alleged crypto business that has enabled the customers to exchange “over ten million dollars in fiat” for cryptocurrency, which then involved a service fee. Their online crypto exchange business was apparently based out of New Hampshire and then involved the use of Bitcoin automated teller machines. The individuals have “knowingly” operated the unlicensed exchange, which has violated federal anti-money laundering laws in the United States.

The DOJ also claimed that many of the alleged perpetrators had each bank accounts in the names of purported religious entities. The operators of the exchange seemingly evaded detection through misleading financial institutions into believing that their business is instead a “religious organization receiving charitable contributions.”

The name of the exchange is still unknown, but all of the defendants have been arrested in a coordinated law enforcement action.

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