Orange County Man Sent to Prison For Processing $25 Million Worth of Bitcoin Illegally
Kais Mohammad – a resident of Orange County – will spend the next 24 months in federal prison for operating an illegal BTC ATM service. The US officials said that the man processed up to $25 million with some of it on behalf of criminal suspects.
In 2020 Kais Mohammad, also known as ”Superman29”, pleaded guilty to the charges against him of operating unauthorized money transmitting business, money laundering, and failing to maintain an effective anti-money laundering program.
Judge Josephine Staton from the Central District of California sentenced the 39-year-old man to spend the next two years in prison, the US officials recently reported.
According to the US Department of Justice, Mohammad was in charge of the illegal digital currency money services business – Herocoin – from December 2014 to November 2019. During this period, he offered Bitcoin-to-cash exchange services, charging fees of up to 25 percent – significantly above the usual market rate.
The investigation added that Mohammad advertised Herocoin’s services online, asserting that he could exchange up to $25,000 worth of the primary cryptocurrency. Subsequently, under the nickname ”Superman29”, he would meet his clients – some of them criminals – in private to provide the service, but he never questioned the source of their funds.
The US authorities acknowledged that they put into action undercover agents, who reached out to the outlaw for his services. They told him that their money comes from prostitution, human trafficking, and dark web activities, but Mohammad still did business with them and exchanged the cryptocurrency.
In addition to the two years that he has to spend behind bars, ”Superman 29” also agreed to give over 17 BTC ATMs, 18.5 BTC, 222.5 ETH, and $22,820 in cash to the authorities.
Other Punishments for Crypto Scams
The aforementioned Kais Mohammad is not the only individual who will see a prison cell from the inside.
One of the most notorious scandals this year was the Turkish trading venue Thodex. According to the authorities, the CEO of the crypto exchange has allegedly scammed its users and fled the country with a sizeable portion of their funds.
However, the officials in Turkey sent to prison six members accused of being part of the criminal affairs. Interestingly, two of the suspects are the brother and the sister of Faruk Fatih Özer – founder and Chief Executive Officer of the platform.
The aforementioned individuals are the first to be imprisoned after many others were released in the previous weeks due to lack of evidence. Nonetheless, the Turkish government assured that they are putting great efforts into catching the head of the criminal platform – Özer – as they search for him in four different countries:
”When he is caught with the red notice, we have extradition arrangements with a large part of these countries. God willing he will be caught and he will be returned.”