AML Bitcoin, a digital currency project that was advertised by political lobbyist Jack Abramoff and NAC Foundation CEO Marcus Andrade as being AML compliant, anti-terrorist, as well as theft-resistant, is being prosecuted by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).
The SEC is pressing a number of charges against the project’s issuers Abramoff and Andrade including money laundering, wire fraud, and aiding and abetting in an unregistered digital securities sale.
AML Bitcoin marketed itself as a version of Bitcoin that its issuers claimed would be superior to the original Bitcoin (BSV). To attract investors, the issuers continually made statements about AML Bitcoin that were not true; such as claiming that AML Bitcoin was going to be advertised during the Super Bowl.
Over 2,400 individuals invested in it, and a total of at least $5.6 million was raised. However, AML Bitcoin was never distributed to its investors, and the funds raised from the AML Bitcoin ICO were allegedly used to fund the AML Bitcoin team members—in particular, Marcus Andrade’s—lifestyle. According to the SEC, “Andrade diverted approximately $1.1 million from the offering for his personal use.”
Abramoff has pleaded guilty to the charges pressed against him, however, Andrade intends to plead not guilty and fight the case in court.
SEC is cracking down
2020 appears to be the year that the SEC is cracking down on digital currency projects that conducted illegal securities offerings and tried to mask them as utility token sales. This year, we have seen the SEC press charges against several digital asset projects including Telegram, which the SEC is accusing of conducting an illegal securities sale with their Gram token.
Beyond that, government agencies like the IRS and the DEA are looking for digital currency experts to help them manage their digital currency-related cases. That being said, some well-known digital asset companies, such as Coinbase, have offered to help these federal agencies accomplish their goals.
When news broke regarding Coinbase offering their analytics platform to the IRS and DEA, money that was held on Coinbase began leaving in exodus.
Many members of the digital currency community feel as though businesses like Coinbase partnering with the United States government will ultimately end up in a violation of user privacy. Regardless, it is becoming increasingly clear that United States government agencies have their attention fixed on the digital asset industry and are making an effort to weed out any non-compliant actors in the space.
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