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Bitcoin/Cryptocurrency Money Laundering

What is Bitcoin money laundering? Bitcoin money laundering is the process of using Bitcoin to conceal the origins of illegally obtained money. This can be done by transferring the Bitcoin to multiple accounts, mixing it with other Bitcoin, or using it to purchase goods or services.  Some believe that Bitcoin transactions are anonymous.  There are, however, transaction records that are stored in the blockchain and publicly visible.  The FBI recently stated “Criminals always leave tracks, and …[this] is a reminder that the FBI has the tools to follow the digital trail, wherever it may lead” .

Bitcoin is definitely attractive to money launderers because it is a decentralized currency that is not subject to government regulation. This makes it difficult, but not impossible, to track and trace Bitcoin transactions. Additionally, Bitcoin is often used in online transactions, which makes it easy to conceal the identity of the sender and receiver.

There are a number of ways to launder money using Bitcoin. One common method is to use a mixer, which is a service that mixes Bitcoin from multiple sources together. This makes it difficult to trace the original source of the Bitcoin. Another method is to use a tumbler, which is a service that breaks up Bitcoin transactions into smaller pieces and then reassembles them. This makes it difficult to track the individual transactions.

Bitcoin can also be used to purchase goods or services that are difficult to trace, such as drugs or weapons. This can make it difficult to identify the source of the funds used to purchase the goods or services.

Money laundering is a serious crime that can have a significant impact on the economy. It can also be used to finance terrorism and other criminal activities. Conaway & Strickler can help if the government is questioning you about or charging you with money laundering /wire fraud /bank fraud charges.

A lot of the times a money mule is utilized in money laundering schemes.  A money mule is a person who transfers money on behalf of someone else, often without knowing that they are involved in a criminal activity. Money mules are typically recruited through online job scams, romance scams, or other fraudulent schemes. They are then asked to receive money from criminals, often through wire transfers or cryptocurrency transactions. The money is then transferred to other accounts, or used to purchase goods or services.

Money mules are often unaware that they are involved in a criminal activity. They may be promised a share of the money, or they may be led to believe that they are helping someone in need. However, money mules are always at risk of being caught and prosecuted. They may also face financial losses, as they may be held responsible for any money that is stolen from the criminals.  The government often goes after these low end cases and prosecutes them federally.

Again, contact us immediately if you are being questioned by a federal agent about any of these issues.

 

 

 

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