A US District Judge ordered a bitcoin trader to renounce 81 bitcoins and sentenced him at 41 months in prison for money laundering. Thomas Mario Costanzo, also known as Morpheus Titania, has sold bitcoins to undercover federal agents pretending to be drug dealers, according to the Department of Justice.
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41 months in prison
The US Department of Justice (DOJ) announced Wednesday, August 1, District Judge G. Murray Snow sentenced a bitcoin trader to 41 months in prison.
Thomas Mario Costanzo, also known as Morpheus Titania, was sentenced to "41 months" of imprisonment, with recognition of the time since his arrest in April 2017, "reads the note." Costanzo was found guilty by a federal jury on 28 March 2018 of money laundering. "
The 54-year-old resident in Arizona advertised on Localbitcoins, a peer-to-peer bitcoin exchange site," who was willing to make cash transactions up to $ 50,000, "said the Justice Department, declaring:
When undercover federal agents approached Constantius and told him they were drug dealers, Constantius supplied them with bitcoins and told them it was a great way to limit their Exposure to the forces of order
81 Bitcoin Forfeited
The jury has in the two-year trial, "Costanzo took $ 164,700 in cash … from agents", according to the statement by the Department of Justice.
The agents claimed that Constantius then "swapped it with bitcoins to hide and disguise the nature, location, source, ownership and control of the drug proceeds." The Justi The State Department also noted that " the evidence showed that Constantius used bitcoin to buy drugs from others and that he provided bitcoins to individuals who bought drugs via the Internet ", elaborating:
At the hearing also condemned Judge Snow on the confiscation of bitcoins 80.94512167 provided by Constantius to the undercover agent.
The agency elaborated, "The current value of the confiscated bitcoins is more than $ 600,000," adding that "Constantius had previously claimed an interest for 49.99363132 of the sequestered bitcoin, and his interest was lost at the time. condemnation hearing. "
Third Party Under Investigation
In addition, the US government has separately investigated Dr. Peter Steinmetz for having undertaken a non-licensed bitcoin trade. He provided more than 30 BTCs to Costanzo.
The agency has agreed not to prosecute Steinmetz "for its previous bitcoin trading activity", as agreed "it will go on, and for the next two years, it will buy or sell only virtual currency on exchanges registered with the network of financial crimes, also known as Fincen. "The Department of Justice has clarified:
Dr. Peter Steinmetz has agreed to forgo the remaining 30.95149035 bitcoins, and also to forgo an additional $ 54,000 in US currency.
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Images courtesy of Shutterstock and DOJ.
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