A California man will spend time behind bars for a Bitcoin money-laundering operation, after being nabbed by undercover agents.
Kais Mohammad, 37 years old, used the handle “Superman29″ to advertise a Bitcoin-cash exchange service dubbed Herocoin, charging commissions of up to 25%.
Mohammad’s illegal business exchanged up to $25 million through in-person transactions and ATM-type kiosks for Bitcoin. Undercover officials eventually incriminated Mohammad by posing as karaoke bar workers asking for his services for a prostitution ring.
A police sting helped close the case when Mohammad met with an undercover law enforcement agent and exchanged $16,000 in cash for 1.58592 Bitcoin. He reportedly did not file a currency transaction report or suspicious activity report for these transactions, despite the agent disclosing that the cash was garnered from illegal activity.
The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Central District of California states that Mohammad is a former bank employee who trained others on compliance matters.
“Mohammad was aware that he was required to – but chose not to – develop and maintain an effective anti-money laundering program, file currency transaction reports for exchanges of currency in excess of $10,000, conduct due diligence on customers, and file suspicious activity reports for transactions over $2,000 involving customers he knew, or had reason to suspect, were involved in criminal activity.”
Mohammad pleaded guilty to operating an unlicensed money transmitting business, money laundering, and failing to maintain an effective anti-money laundering program, surrendering 17 Bitcoin ATMs, $22,820 in cash, 18.4 Bitcoin and 222.5 Ethereum to the government.
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