Business

Steve Kaaru

New Jersey man faces charges over unlicensed crypto exchange

A federal grand jury has indicted a New Jersey man for running an unlicensed cryptocurrency exchange. William Green, a resident of Wall Township in New Jersey, is alleged to have converted more than $2 million into SegWitCoin (BTC) for his clients.

According to a press release by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of New Jersey, the 46-year-old Green was charged by indictment with one count of operating an unlicensed money transmitting business. Green is set to appear before a judge on a yet-to-be-scheduled date.

Green allegedly operated a website known as Destination Bitcoin. He advertised his services on the website, receiving money from his clients on his bank accounts. He would then convert the money he received into BTC and send it to his clients. He charged a fee for his services.

On his website, he claimed to “make it possible to begin investing in Bitcoin at increments everyone can afford by allowing fractional bitcoin options.”

The IRS opened an investigation into Green’s business in 2018. According to Darknet Live, he had registered his home address as the business’ physical location. This made it super easy for IRS agents to track him down. The IRS further subpoenaed several banks which he used and obtained all his bank records. In one bank alone, he had received $1,417,000 from his clients.

The IRS further conducted undercover transactions with Green, posing as legitimate clients. Green, without knowing that he was being investigated, went on his business as usual and converted the money he received from undercover IRS agents into BTC. He charged his usual 5% commission.

To further implicate Green, an undercover IRS agent convinced him to meet in person, claiming to need $12,000 worth of BTC. They met on February 7, 2019 in Wall Township, New Jersey, for the transaction. The agent handed Green the $12,000 in cash and upon confirming that the money was intact, he sent $10,000 worth of BTC to the agent, collecting $2,000 as his fee.

The court charged him with running the business without getting it registered with the Secretary of the Treasury as is required by the law. He faces a maximum penalty of five years imprisonment and a $250,000 fine if found guilty.

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