LA Bitcoin Trader Faces 30 Months in Jail for Illegal Money Business

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LA Bitcoin Trader Faces 30 Months in Jail for Illegal Money Business


Everyone knows Bitcoin could be easily used for any illegal services or activities such as gambling, trading, etc.
Theresa Tetley from Southern California is one among the traders who have now been sentenced to prison.

What exactly was the crime?

The prosecutors mentioned that the fifty-year-old Theresa Tetley, who had worked in the Bitcoin Trading business with the name ‘Bitcoin Maven’, faces more than two years in jail for “having operated in an illegal transmitting business.”

According to NBC Los Angeles, Theresa had made $300,000 per year at the least by trading Bitcoins on the website – Localbitcoins.com. She had been doing this from the year 2014 till 2017.
It was also reported that she had made transactions over the years, which was worth anywhere between $6 million to $9.5 million.

Theresa has recently pled guilty for operating an unregistered amount of money transmission business. She has also pled guilty for exchanging almost 80 BTC for $70,000 in just a single transaction.
According to the documents presented in the court, the prosecutors had alleged that this transaction included the proceedings from drug trafficking.

The Prosecutor’s Office had mentioned in the court documents that, “Tetley’s activities fuelled a black-market financial system in the Central District of California that purposely and deliberately existed outside of the regulated bank industry.

What is the punishment given by the court?

As mentioned earlier, Theresa Tetley faces more than 2 years, i.e. 30 months in prison for all the crimes that she had performed, if only if the government gets its way in the court on Monday.
But her defense team have been trying their level best to get her sentence down to just one year.

The federal prosecutors have also been hoping to seize –

  • Almost 40 BTC (which is currently worth to about $270,000).
  • $292,264
  • 25 gold bars which according to the reports, were seized earlier by the law enforcement agents in March.

Similar Other Cases-

According to the NBC LA, Theresa’s case is considered as the first of its kind in Southern California. But there have been other such Bitcoin Traders from other parts of the US in the previous year, such as –

  • A Detroit bitcoin trader was sentenced in December 2017, to serve 366 days in the prison for similarly operating an unlicensed money services business like Theresa.
    Sal Mansy funneled bitcoin transactions through the same link – com. He did so through a corporation which he owned. He ended up ultimately conducting $2.4 million-worth of bitcoin transactions over just a two-year period.
  • In another case linked to Localbitcoins.com, father and son trading team – Randall and Michael Lord were sentenced to prison, last May. They had to serve a period of 106 months and 46 months, respectively, for running an unlawful money business.

Michael Lord also pled guilty to a charge involving narcotics distribution.

 

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