Nevada LocalBitcoins Trader Who Offered Fake Real Estate Investment Receives 21 Months In Jail
The authorities of the United States have recently arrested a Nevada-based LocalBitcoins trader who was connected to some scams. He was charged for operating an unlicensed money transmission business, according to the official announcement made by the government.
Morgan Rockoons will now serve 21 months in federal prison for his crimes, which also included the creation of a Bitcoin-based real estate scam, as revealed by the U. S. Attorney’s Office of California, Las Vegas.
The man made thousands of transactions ever since the end of 2017, becoming a very active user on the platform. The initial reason why he actually was charged was because he failed to register as a money transmission business with the local authorities. He should have done it with the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN).
He charged up to 36% for each transactions, which created a very lucrative business for him as he was the most prolific Bitcoin seller in the region of San Diego.
Obviously, he did not do it because he was offered illegal services. He started operating Bitcointopia since the end of November 2017. The service was a flat out scam. On it, he offered land to people. However, he never actually delivered it because the land never existed in the first place.
He affirmed that he had several acres of land located in Nevada’s Elko County. TYhe idea was to create a mega city in which Bitcoin would be legally used. He even took pictures of the land (which did not exist). People could buy the land paying from 0.5 to 1.5 BTC. For instance, someone was reported to buy 4.9 acres of land by paying $877 USD for them.
The lie was actually very elaborate. He affirmed that the land would be used to create millions of jobs in the region. He even went as far as to respond to the president of the U. S. Donald Trump’s tweet when he visited Elko.
In the tweet, he thanked Trump for coming to Elko and affirmed that they were building a brand new MegaCity in the town using Bitcoin and the artificial intelligence.
According to the release, the victims of the man never actually received their properties for giving the BTC. At least 10 victims were recognized by the authorities during the investigations, but the number may be far higher than this.
Rockoons was originally arrested back in October 2018. He originally pleaded guilty to the charges in relation to Bitcointopia and for operating illegal money transmitting services. He made over $80,000 USD illegally since then, but he will forfeit the money and face jail time now.
Up until last month, the scammer was still hoping to get out of jail. He asked online for “character witnesses” to help him. However, he was obviously not faced with much sympathy by the community.
U. S. Authorities Are Attacking Informal Trading
The truth is that the authorities of the U. S. are currently making a big effort in order to standardize the landscape of the market and to go against individuals who are using cryptos to conduct illegal trades.
The Operation Cryptosweep was started last year and it continues to go on strong these days. Most of the targeted individuals are either scammers or people acting as money transmission businesses which are not propertly legalized.
Other countries are also on the move to halt scams. For instance, Canada is working together with the United States in order to catch Ponzi schemes and their promoters. The authorities of Brazil were also recently able to shut down a very large pyramid scheme operation that defrauded over 55,000 people in the country.