Unlicensed Bitcoin Trader In Jail

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In December 2016, a Canadian citizen by the name of Louis Ong was targeted by the US Department of Homeland Security and Federal Agents, for posting an advertisement online asking to anonymously exchange Bitcoins for US dollars.

Mr. Ong pleaded guilty last week in Seattle U.S. District Court, to operating an unlicensed money transmission business. In addition to jail time, Ong agreed to pay over $1.1 million dollars worth of Bitcoin and cash. The investigation led by federal agents, uncovered money laundering throughout the operation, with transactions ranging from $12,000 to $50,000 completed using a smartphone when meeting with his clients, and for which Ong charged a percentage fee. Ong did not show interest in knowing where the money was from or what it was going to be used for, thereby failing to comply with US regulations to prevent or stop money laundering. The outcome of the trial was a sentence of 20 days in jail and a fine, to which Ong had no objections.

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