A U.S. district choose has ordered a bitcoin dealer to forfeit 81 bitcoins and sentenced him to 41 months in jail for cash laundering. Thomas Mario Costanzo, also often called Morpheus Titania, bought bitcoins to undercover federal brokers pretending to be drug sellers, in accordance to the Department of Justice.
41 Months in Prison
The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) introduced Wednesday, August 1, that District Judge G. Murray Snow has sentenced a bitcoin dealer to 41 months in jail.
Thomas Mario Costanzo, also often called Morpheus Titania, has been sentenced to “41 months’ imprisonment, with credit for time served since his arrest in April 2017,” the discover reads. “Costanzo was found guilty by a federal jury on March 28, 2018, of money laundering.”
The 54-year-old Arizona resident marketed on Localbitcoins, a peer-to-peer bitcoin change web site, “that he was willing to engage in cash transactions up to $50,000,” the DOJ described, stating:
When undercover federal brokers approached Costanzo and advised him that they had been drug sellers, Costanzo supplied them with bitcoin and advised them it was a good way to restrict their publicity to legislation enforcement.
81 Bitcoins Forfeited
The jury discovered at trial that, over the two-year interval, “Costanzo took $164,700 in cash…from the agents,” in accordance to the DOJ’s assertion.
The brokers claimed that Costanzo then “exchanged it for bitcoin in order to conceal and disguise the nature, location, source, ownership, and control of the drug proceeds.” The Justice Department additional famous that “the evidence at trial also showed that Costanzo used bitcoin to purchase drugs from others and that he provided bitcoin to individuals who were buying drugs via the internet,” elaborating:
At the sentencing listening to Judge Snow also dominated on the forfeiture of the 80.94512167 bitcoins supplied by Costanzo to the secret agent.
The company elaborated, “The current value of the forfeited bitcoins is more than $600,000,” including that “Costanzo had previously claimed an interest in 49.99363132 of the seized bitcoins, and his interest was forfeited at the sentencing hearing.”
Third Party Under Investigation
In addition, the US authorities individually investigated Dr. Peter Steinmetz for participating in an unlicensed bitcoin buying and selling enterprise. He provided greater than 30 BTC to Costanzo.
The company agreed not to prosecute Steinmetz “for his prior bitcoin trading activity,” as he agrees “that going forward, and for the next two years, he will only purchase or sell virtual currency on exchanges registered with the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network, also known as Fincen.” The Justice Department clarified:
Dr. Peter Steinmetz has agreed to forfeit the remaining 30.95149035 bitcoins, and to also forfeit an extra $54,000 in U.S. currency.
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