Bitcoin dealer charged in US with international money laundering

August 20, 2018
Chris Wheal

A 21-year old bitcoin dealer faced a 31-count indictment in the US that includes operating an illegal money transmitting business and international money laundering.

Jacob Burrell Campos was described in court as a “prolific Bitcoin dealer who sold approximately $750,000 worth of Bitcoin to hundreds of buyers throughout the United States.”

Burrell was accused of operatng as a bitcoin “exchanger” conducting 971 separate transactions with over 900 individual customers, and of accepting cash, the prosecutor deemed his activities as constituting a “money transmitting business.”

Activities which were required by law to be registered with the Department of Treasury, and to comply with all anti-money laundering requirements, including reporting suspicious cash transactions.

The indictment states that Burrell sent wire transfers totaling over $900,000 from his bank accounts in the US to a bank account in Taiwan in the name of cryptocurrency exchange Bitfinex to buy Bitcoin and fund his business.

Coinbase closed one door…

Funds that Burrell then used to buy over $3m worth of Bitcoin in over 2,600 transactions.  Burrell fell back on buying Bitcoin through Bitfinex because his account was previously closed by Coinbase, for circumventing its ID verification process.

Burrell Campos took cash “with no questions asked,” and in an exchange for a 5% fee, he is said to have supplied hundreds of individuals with the means to avoid anti-money laundering laws applicable to all financial institutions, including licensed and registered Bitcoin exchanges.

The Assistant US Attorney Robert Ciaffa said Burrell  “blew a giant hole” through the legal framework of US anti-money laundering laws by soliciting and introducing into the banking system close to $1m in unregulated cash.”

 

 

 

Post written by Chris Wheal
Chris Wheal is editor of OpenLedger's news and features service. An award-wining business journalists himself, he runs a team of freelance journalists from across the UK and north America.

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