24-Year-Old Sent to Prison for Trading Bitcoin Without Identifying Customers

He sold $1.5 million in Bitcoin but made only $40,000 (2.6%) in commissions.

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The law agencies of US are “celebrating” another victory in their non-stop crusade to prevent unlicensed money transmitting. Their latest success is sending a 24-year old to federal prison for making $40,000 from offline Bitcoin trading.

Eldon Stone Ross is a 24-year-old from Kennett Square borough of Chester County, Pennsylvania. On Wednesday, he has been sentenced to serve in federal prison for a year and a day in for selling and buying large amounts of BTC from and to people without reporting the transactions to the government of the US.

Ross supposedly sold $1.5 million in BTC for almost 2 years but made only $40,000 (about 2.6%) in commissions. Now, he has to hand over the amount to the US government in addition to his prison sentence. The young man has been convicted for conducting a business with unlicensed money transmitting between Jan. 2015 and Nov. 2016 and not reporting the fiat to Bitcoin transactions.

Bert, Glenn, the U.S. Attorney’s assistant who prosecuted the case in Philadelphia said that they don’t see many of these cases as this is the first he has done there. Further, he warned that if people can reach to someone who is dealing outside the institutional market such as Ross, it adds to their anonymity.

Homeland Security Investigations

The 24-year-old man admitted in Oct. 2017 that he sold $50,000 worth of BTC to undercover Homeland Security Investigations federal agents. In this case, they reported that he failed to obtain agents’ identifying information, according to court records. Similar to previous cases across the United States, the authorities claim that by not conducting exchange-like KYC (know-your-customer) policies and reporting to the Department of the Treasury, the Bitcoin trader was enabling money laundering.

Surprisingly, Ross was already in prison for drug offenses during a period in which he is supposed to have been handling the illegal money transmitting business as Philadelphia Inquirer reported. After his new prison sentence is over, the young man will be under another 3 more years of supervised release.

Despite the fact the Ross was sentenced to prison as an illegal business owner and not as a simple cryptocurrency holder, users should always be well informed about the actions they have to take in order to avoid problems with authorities.

Also read: Icelandic Police In Search For About 600 Cryptocurrency Miners

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