Unlicensed Bitcoin exchange operator indicted by Justice Department; faces 5 years imprisonment and a $250,000 fine
William Green, a 46-year-old New Jersey man was indicted today by a federal grand jury for allegedly running an unlicensed money transmission service. The United States Department of Justice (DoJ) announced the indictment in a press release today.
According to the DoJ, William Green was charged for operating an unlicensed money transmitting business through which he charged customers fees to convert more than $2 million in cash into the digital currency Bitcoin.
Green, of Wall Township, New Jersey, was charged by indictment with one count of operating an unlicensed money transmitting business. He is scheduled to appear before a United States District Judge on a date to be scheduled. He was previously charged with the same offense by criminal complaint on February 28, 2019. According to the documents filed in this case and statements made in court:
Green maintained a business that operated a website called “Destination Bitcoin.” Through the Destination Bitcoin website, Green received money from members of the public (the “customers”), deposited such money into bank accounts maintained by Green, and then converted such money into Bitcoin in accordance with the customers’ instructions. Green charged the customers a fee for this service.
Federal law provides that any person who owns or controls a money transmitting business shall register the business (whether or not the business is licensed as a money transmitting business in any State) with the Secretary of the Treasury. However, Green did not register, either in his own name or in the name of his business, with the Secretary of the United States Treasury as a money transmitting business.
The charge of operating an unlicensed money transmitting business carries a maximum penalty of 5 years imprisonment and a $250,000 fine. U.S. Attorney Carpenito credited special agents of IRS – Criminal Investigation, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge John R. Tafur, as well as special agents of the U.S. Immigration & Customs Enforcement, Homeland Security Investigations, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Brian Michael, with the investigation leading to today’s indictment.
The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Anthony Torntore of the U.S. Attorney’s Office Cybercrimes Unit in Newark. The charge and allegations in the indictment are merely accusations, and the defendant is considered innocent unless and until proven guilty.