Crypto Activist and Bitcointopia Founder Pleads Guilty to Charges: Land Fraud, Money Laundering
The way to bitcoin-utopia is laden with regulatory issues and scam artists. In a recent confession, Morgan Rockoons the founder of Bitcointopia and a well-known crypto activist has conceded to both charges against him in two bitcoin-related cases.
He had been charged with an illegal wire transfer as well as being party to a real estate scam venture.
What was going on with money laundering?
In early 2018 Morgan Rockoons was under the microscope as the government came down heavily on him for money laundering. As such activities make traceability of money extremely hard and raise fears of funding criminal activities, this is considered pretty serious and dealt with appropriately.
When the case came out, news outlets were projecting this as a test case to see how far the judiciary of the land was willing to loosen the leash and allow cryptocurrency advocates to trade in fiat currency.
However, the events that transpired seem to suggest this has little to do with Crypto and more with a trader not following clearly laid down rules. According to the officials, Morgan Rockoons was running his operation without the requisite license and not following protocol. He is alleged to have transferred “about $9,200 in bitcoin to the agent for $14,500 in cash, taking the remainder as a transaction fee”.
That is exactly what the recent plea also seems to bring into focus; that the whole case had more to do with business fraud than any precedent-setting cryptocurrency case. This appears to be a simple case of a business being charged for money transmission violations without a proper financial license.
The Bitcoin City dream in ashes
At the time of his arrest, Rockoons was rather boisterous and was playing up his crypto credentials. After being released on bail he had started pushing the blockchain agenda more. And one of the ventures he advocated was a plan to start an idealistic community. He quickly went about advertising this “Bitcoin City”.
Soon all his channels and associates were pushing for this, a Disneyland-Ishq venture. To this end, the Bitcointopia Inc was launched giving everyone the impression Morgan Rockoons was a visionary and futurist.
However, this all came crashing down when he was arrested again. This time the prosecution alleged that the whole scheme was a fraud. Rockoons and his partners had pushed to sell almost a 1000 acre of undeveloped land in Elko County, Nevada to build a city centered around automation and blockchain technology.
As facts came out it became apparent that most of this was federally owned land with only about 10 odd acres in the embattled CEOs or his company's name. In January, he seemed to be more combative, twitting:
” I am going to court on Monday at 2 PM, in room 4A, if you support me and my mission to protect Bitcoin & build a Bitcoin City please come to court and show support, it would mean the world to me, PS, Jail Sucks, Love Morgan, From FEDERAL PRISON XO”.
Yet that fire seems to have been extinguished in a little over a month as on the 8th of this month he pleads guilty to both charges of wire and land fraud.
As this publication has repeatedly stated, the actions of individuals cannot and should not reflect on the technology. Unlike men ideas are incorruptible. The idea of a freer and more transparent future should not get muddled by the actions of someone.
Weather Rockoons actions were deliberate or misinformed if a law has been broken and a fair trial has ensued then punishment should ensue.