Arizona Court Convicts Bitcoin Trader for Money Laundering, Faces 3+ Years in Jail
Bitcoin Trader for Convicted for Money Laundering in Arizona
A court in the state of Arizona has sentenced a former Bitcoin trader and crypto exchange operator to a jail term of 41 months. The convict, known as Thomas Mario Costanzo, was sentenced on five charges by a jury of his peers on multiple counts of money laundering. Notably, the jail term will deduct the time he has already served since his apprehension in April last year.
Last year, federal agents busted Thomas at his home after suspecting that he owned bullets unlawfully, and also conducted money laundering using his peer-to-peer Bitcoin trading platform. After a covert operation run by the federal agents, the FBI discovered that Costanzo had laundered approximately $165,000 for a period of two years. During the investigation, Costanzo accepted money from an undercover agent who had told him that the funds were the proceeds of a drug trafficking business. Precisely, the evidence presented in court stated that Thomas told the agent that Bitcoin is a subtle way of circumventing legal repercussions.
Additionally, Thomas was also convicted for using Bitcoin to buy drugs and assisting the acquisition of drugs using his Bitcoin trading platform without implementing KYC requirements. During his conviction, the Department of Justice revealed that each of the money laundering charge attracted a maximum jail term of two decades. Moreover, the court decided to destroy the 80 BTC that were seized from Thomas.
Of late, the federal government has been tracking down individuals who use digital currencies to transact illegal business. In July, a Los Angeles-based crypto trader known as Bitcoin Maven was sentenced to an year in prison after being found guilty of running an illegal cryptocurrency platform.