U.S.— District Court Judge Robert Weir sentenced the Bulgarian national, Rossen Iossifov, to a term of 10 years, requiring that at least 85 percent be spent in prison under federal law. Iosifov was charged with conspiracy to commit money laundering and offenses under the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations.
According to a press release from the Department of Justice, Iosifov was intentionally engaged in money laundering, supporting the proceeds of fraud while trying to conceal his responsibility.
“Iossifov owned and managed RG Coins, a cryptocurrency exchange headquartered in Sofia, Bulgaria. According to the evidence at trial, Iossifov knowingly and intentionally engaged in business practices designed to both assist fraudsters in laundering the proceeds of their fraud and to shield himself from criminal liability.”
“At least five of Iossifov’s principal clients in Bulgaria were Romanian scammers, who belonged to a criminal enterprise known in court records as the Alexandria (Romania) Online Auction Fraud (AOAF) Network.”
Iossifov was also said to have allowed the scammers to avoid identification protocols and failed on a number of basic anti-money laundering requirements.
“According to evidence at trial, Iossifov designed his business to cater to criminal enterprises by, for instance, providing more favorable exchange rates to members of the AOAF Network. Iossifov also allowed his criminal clients to conduct cryptocurrency exchanges for cash without requiring any identification or documentation to show the source of funds, despite his representations to the contrary to the major bitcoin exchanges that supported his business.”
The court heard evidence that the accused had laundered some $5 million in a digital currency over three years on behalf of the scammers, out of a total of $7 million defrauded by the victims of the scam. He personally made $184,000 of his involvement in the scams.
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