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Thursday, December 2, 2021

Ontario man gets 3 years for bitcoin money laundering

An Ontario man was sentenced Thursday, November 18, to three years in prison for laundering drug dealers’ money through an unlicensed business exchanging bitcoin digital currency and cash, the US Justice Department said. Was.

Hugo Sergio Mejia, 50, was sentenced in Santa Ana to U.S. District Judge Cormac J. Carney was sentenced.

Mejia pleaded guilty on July 1 to operating an unlicensed money remittance business and one count of money laundering. Over the course of about two and a half years, according to the plea agreement, Mejia exchanged at least $13 million.

Mejia, who took commission from the transaction, never registered his business with the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network, a bureau with the United States Treasury Department that collects information to deal with financial crimes, including money laundering. does and analyzes it.

Mejia advertised his business online and sent it verbally to customers. The DOJ said he spoke with them over encrypted messages and met them in coffee shops.

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Between May 2019 and March 2020, law enforcement caught up with Mejia when he met a government informant posing as a customer to convert tens of thousands of dollars in bitcoin into cash. During a meeting, the informant told Mejia that his client was a methamphetamine buyer in Australia, who sold it in Australia for five times the average price in the United States.

Mejia and the client who was working with law enforcement made five transactions that cumulatively exceeded $250,000.

As part of his plea agreement, Mejia agreed to confiscate all assets obtained from illegal conduct, including $233,987 in cash, silver coins and bars, and various cryptocurrencies confiscated from homes in Santa Ana and Ontario. Approximately $95,587 is included.

World Nation News Deskhttps://www.worldnationnews.com
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