Washington Lobbyist Charged with Money Laundering In $5.6 Million AML BitCoin Project

Former convict Jack Abramoff has agreed to plead guilty to conspiracy and violating the Lobbying Disclosure Act, facing five years in prison, according to a court filing.

Abramoff, who went to prison for a lobbying scandal, was charged with illegally lobbying for a fraudulent cryptocurrency project.

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) announced parallel charges on Thursday, alleging that Abramoff misled investors while promoting blockchain-based token AML BitCoin via NAC Foundation.

All about Money Laundering

The chief executive of NAC Foundation Rowland Marcus Andrade is also fighting criminal charges. According to a court filing on June 22, the US Department of Justice (DOJ) has indicted the Texas resident Andrade on money laundering and wire fraud charges. The filing said,

“To date, Andrade and the NAC have not made any meaningful progress towards developing AtenCoin, AML Bitcoin, or ABTC.”

It was claimed the security token was an improvement to original Bitcoin because it had encoded features to prevent money laundering, as per SEC’s complaint against Abramoff. The promoted security features were still in the early development phase and required additional funds to be implemented.

They even managed to raise at least $5.6 million from 2,400 investors, mostly in the US, from August 2017 through December 2018. According to the SEC’s suit,

“They deceived investors by, among other things, making false and misleading statements in press releases, social-media outlets, and other promotional materials regarding the status of the technology and governmental agencies’ interest in using AML BitCoin in their payment systems.”

Back to Prison

In June 2017, Abramoff tried to lobby a member of Congress for a legislative measure through a person who turned out to be an undercover FBI agent, as per a plea agreement filed in court.

The same year, Abramoff featured in a reality series called “Capitol Makeover: Bitcoin Brigade,” where he leads a group from AML Bitcoin in a “boot camp” that is to transform the members “from techies to lobbyists ready to take on Capitol Hill.”

This isn’t his first prison stint either; previously, he served 43 months in prison before getting released in 2010. This was the result of Abramoff being the center of a scandal that led to 20 convictions or guilty pleas, including two officials in President George W. Bush’s administration in the early 2000s.

Both the criminal case — U.S. v. Abramoff and the civil suit of SEC v. Abramoff, are in the U.S. District Court, Northern District of California (San Francisco).

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