LocalBitcoins crypto seller faces 5 years jail in USA
USA citizen found guilty for operating “unlicensed money transmitting business”, using the famous crypto P2P marketplace LocalBitcoins.com
The US Department of Justice (DoJ) released information stating that a man called Jacob Burrell Campos has admitted to “selling hundreds of thousands of dollars” in Bitcoin (BTC) to thousands of people across the US. Between the beginning of 2015 until April 2016, the individual has operated what the DoJ describes as an unregistered “Bitcoin exchange”.
Being part of the peer-to-peer platform LocalBitcoins.com, Burrell neglected the need to register his business activities with the US Department of Treasury. In addition, he failed to apply due diligence and anti-money-laundering measures to his clients, further breaking regulations.
The US financial authorities first noticed Burrell, because of his “suspicious” activities on an undisclosed US-based, regulated crypto exchange. His account has been frozen but he moved his business to a Hong Kong-based platform in which he was able to purchase and sell $3.29 million worth in Bitcoin. He was maintaining a low profile by keeping the transactions of profits below the $10 grand threshold, which needs to be declared. According to the press release, doing this he was able to import over $1 million between December 2016 and January 2018. The CEO of the “unregistered Bitcoin exchange” will be facing a maximum sentence of five years in jail. He forfeits over $800 000 of his earnings in desperate attempts to make a plea agreement.
The case clearly shows how the US government wants to regulate cryptocurrencies and everyone who makes financial profits without proper licenses will be punished. In addition, the hard regulations and documentation needed to operate and use the LocalBitcoins.com platform within the US are without any doubt too much. Yet, the country is placed 3rd by volume of transactions in the platform with 11.8%. The first and second positions are for Russia and not-so-surprisingly Venezuela, one of the countries experiencing a financial collapse of ordinary banking fiscal system.