Six individuals charged in New Hampshire with operating an unlicensed cryptocurrency exchange.

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The US Department of Justice (DOJ) charged six people with “conspiracy to run an unlicensed” cryptocurrency exchange service, among other things.

Five of those charged were also charged with wire theft, and one with money laundering and reportedly “operating an ongoing financial crimes operation.”

The suspects ranged in age from 34 to 60 years old and went by the names Ian Freeman (formerly Ian Bernard), Colleen Fordham, Renee Spinella, Andrew Spinella, Nobody (formerly Richard Paul), and Aria DiMezzo (formerly James Baker).

According to the indictment, the above individuals ran the suspected crypto company since 2016, allowing clients to trade “over ten million dollars in fiat” for bitcoin, which contained a service charge. Their online crypto exchange company seemed to be headquartered in New Hampshire, and it also used Bitcoin ATM machines. The people “knowingly” ran the unlicensed exchange, in violation of federal anti-money laundering legislation in the United States.

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DOJ also claimed that some of the alleged perpetrators had bank accounts in the names of purported religious entities. The operators of the exchange apparently evaded detection by misleading financial institutions into believing their business was instead a “religious organization receiving charitable contributions.”

The name of the exchange remains unknown however, all of the defendants were arrested in a coordinated law enforcement action.

 

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