DoJ Sentences Women Trading In ‘Bitcoin For Cash’ To One Year In Prison

DoJ Sentences Women Trading In ‘Bitcoin For Cash’ To One Year In Prison

A women cryptocurrency trader, “Bitcoin Maven”, was sentenced to 366 days prison term by the Department of Justice (DoJ) for practising the trade without a valid license.
In news of perhaps the first conviction of women coin trader, the DoJ held Theresa Lynn Tetley, aged 50 years for intentionally breaking financial regulatory rules and laws. Maven was found transmitting money in the capacity of a business owner without a valid license.
She was also found guilty for hoarding money. Her sentencing also permits the courts to seize 40 Bitcoin, which are valued at $250,000, $292,264 in cash, and 25 gold bars from her exchange operations.
Mode of operations
Tetley essentially conducted her business off the books. She was a trained stock broker and now a real estate investor. At no point did she register the operations as money services business and failed to include business practices which would ensure she would not be liable of contempt of ‘money-laundering’ laws.
She would advertise her services on the local bitcoin website – For purposes of engaging with clients and advertising she used her pseudo identity “bitcoin maven.”
She would typically complete every transaction in person by giving clients who paid cash for digital coins. In her tenure as trader of decentralised coins she had amassed over $6 million to $9.5 million.
Caught in Drug Net
However, she came under investigations by the Drug Enforcement Administration as one of her Another of her big clients William James Farber of the infamous dark online marketplace Alphabay, was arrested in 2017. He was convicted on allegations of holding and distributing substances, and she came under the scanner for money laundering in 2016.
To build a case of her activities, one investigation officer and another agent posing as the former’s boyfriend won her trust to sell her ‘coke, weed’ and other stuff he had stolen for which he wanted Maven to pay him in bitcoin. The tempting offer was Maven’s undoing and she walked into the trap and was arrested.
Upon conviction, the judge ruled against her illegal activities and sentenced her in jail for one year and one day and forfeiting all amounts she had stored with her.
According to the DoJ, “Providing cash in envelopes (and in the significant amounts she did), in coffee shops and restaurants, is no way to conduct legitimate business, certainly when that volume exceeds the millions.
Someone such as defendant—a former stockbroker and real estate investor—was certainly aware of that.” Hence, the judge could only view her activities as contrary to the law of the land and issue judgement against her.
The 2016-17 boom that cryptocurrency coins saw, lead to various types of crypto crimes. From crypto jacking to stealing from hot wallets, crimes for this high value alternate coins has been consistently getting worse. Every opportunity on either side of the law is leveraged by users to maximize profits and gain cryptocurrencies.
One such trader of coins was “Bitcoin Maven,” reiterating the view expressed by those sceptical of cryptocurrency industry as speculative investment and an avenue for money laundering. Regulations and the strong arms of justice are hence vital forces in the bigger landscape of aiding the growth of blockchain technology for cryptocurrency trading.