On Monday, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) announced that a New Jersey resident pled guilty to one count of running an unlicensed money transmitting business. According to the government, the individual had operated a website through which he converted clients' fiat currency into bitcoin, transferred the bitcoin to client wallets and charged a fee for his services. The announcement contained no allegations of fraud or other wrongdoing, other than not registering his business as required by federal law.
In another announcement issued on Monday, the DOJ reported that Michael Hlady pled guilty in a Brooklyn federal court to conspiring to extort a startup company for millions of dollars' worth of ether (ETH). According to court documents, while the company was planning its initial coin offering (ICO) in 2017, Hlady and a co-conspirator repeatedly threatened that they would destroy the company and its community unless the company sent them additional funds and company tokens. The company transferred 10,000 ETH in response to the threats.
According to reports published this week, South Korean prosecutors have sold bitcoin for the first time in the country's history, transferring the proceeds into the national treasury. The 191 bitcoin had been confiscated in April 2017 from the operator of an illegal pornography site. While other countries, such as the United States, have been auctioning confiscated bitcoin for years, South Korean prosecutors have held on to the cryptocurrency due to legal ambiguity regarding its treatment. However, this recent sale follows the passage of the country's new cryptocurrency legislation, which went into effect at the end of March.
For more information, please refer to the following links:
- New Jersey Man Admits Operating Illegal Bitcoin Exchange
- Individual Pleads Guilty in Brooklyn Federal Court to Extorting Cryptocurrency from Startup Company
- South Korean Prosecutors Sell (and Profit Off) Bitcoin Taken From Criminals
The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.