Business 12 March 2019Neil Mathew
CEO pleads guilty to selling ‘Bitcointopia’ land he didn’t own
When it comes to any revolutionary emerging technology, there are often some eccentric and ambitious individuals that are involved in the sector, and Morgan Rockcoons is no exception.
For those that are unaware of Rockcoons, the entrepreneur pitched the idea of a “Bitcointopia” to many individuals last year, offering to sell them land that he claimed to own in Nevada.
He advertised the land in Elko, Nevada, for .5 Bitcoin Core (BTC) per acre, with the hopes of creating a city where cryptocurrency is fully embraced. According to a Medium post, the idea was for Bitcointopia to become a tax-free haven and actually secede from the United States eventually. Of course, this never came to fruition.
There was also one very important problem: Rockcoons never actually owned the land. As if that wasn’t enough, this venture was undertaken while Rockcoons was out on bail for another crime. An undercover agent was previously able to complete an illegal transaction with Rockcoons by posing as a hash oil entrepreneur, and Rockcoons transferred $9,200 worth of BTC to the undercover agent in exchange for over $14,000 in cash.
Cryptocurrency transactions of over $10,000 should be reported to the U.S. government, a law that was created in order to combat money laundering. Many consider this to be a landmark case in the cryptocurrency space because it might help determine how Bitcoin transactions should be viewed and regulated by the federal government for the future.
Rockcoons did own some land, but the amount of land he owned was less than five acres, according to prosecutors. A former business partner actually found out that it was none other than the federal government that owned much of the land that Rockcoons was attempting to sell, adding a bit of irony to the case. It is estimated that Rockcoons earned almost $100,000 selling this land that he didn’t own, as well.
Often times, entrepreneurs end up being a little too ambitious, and end up in trouble with the legal system, and Rockcoons appears to be another example. According to the San Diego Union-Tribune, Rockcoons is pleading guilty as he faces 20 years of prison for the wire fraud charge, and additional prison time for the previous charge, as well.
Note: Tokens on the Bitcoin Core (SegWit) chain are referenced as BTC coins; tokens on the Bitcoin Cash ABC chain are referenced as BCH, BCH-ABC or BAB coins.
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