Trading bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies is quite a legal and lucrative venture, however traders must always work in-line with the necessary guidelines laid by regulatory authorities in order not to be sent to jail for illicit trading activities and your digital assets auctioned.
Early this month, a United States cryptocurrency trader, Morgan Rockoon (aka Morgan Rockwell) was arrested by the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Agency, the federal government law enforcement body under the US Department of Homeland Security.
According to the case record, at the Southern District Court of California, Rockwell is being charged with laundering monetary instruments and running an unregistered money transmitting business. Authorities also want to confiscate of all Rockwell’s virtual currencies relating to the case.
Morgan Rockwell, on his twitter handle stated that:
“On Friday Feb 9, I was arrested in my home by Department of Homeland Security over a #Bitcoin transaction from nov 2016 and am released under a personal recognizance bond. I am being charged with 18 USC 1956 – Money Laundering Instrument.”
Furthermore, the defendant is also accused of knowingly transacting with a law enforcement officer for the profits from a specified illicit activity.
Morgan sold 9.998BTC (valued at $9,208 then) to police agent agent for $14,500 in paper money, even after being told that the money was the proceeds from the manufacturing and sales of ‘hash oil’ – an oil extracted from cannabis. ‘Hash oil’ is a controlled substance under Schedule I by US federal law because it contains tetrahydrocannabinols, the main psychoactive constituent of marijuana.
The count concerning the running of an unlicensed money transmitting business is a broad allegation which the authorities can charge anyone with, especially for transactions exceeding $3000.
Last year, a Michigan man known as Bradley Anthony Stetkiw, who trades bitcoin on Localbitcoins, a peer-to-peer bitcoin exchange, got into police trouble for selling a large amount of digital currency.
A criminal complaint was filed against him on October 25, 2017 for buying, selling and brokering transactions for hundreds of thousands of dollars in bitcoin while not adhering to U.S Code regarding money transmitting.