Bitcoin seller faces life imprisionment for unlicensed exchange

Unlicensed Exchange

A 25-year-old man from Westwood, Los Angeles, pleaded guilty to federal charges for exchanging up to $ 25 million in cash and cryptocurrencies without a license and without a money laundering program.

Kunal Kalra, also known as “Kumar,” “shecklemayne” and “coinman,” was accused on Friday of allegedly exchanging cash and cryptocurrencies for people, including drug dealers, partially through his ATM bitcoin kiosk.

An  announcement by  the US Department of Justice last Friday said Kalra, who is expected to appear for the first time next month, agreed to plead guilty to the charges.

The statement alleges that Kalra ran an unlicensed cryptocurrency exchange business from May 2015 to October 2017. He admitted in his plea agreement for having exchanged bitcoin for cash from criminals, including drug dealers who obtained the cryptocurrency by selling narcotics in The dark network

The justice department continued by saying that without implementing a program against money laundering, Kalra facilitated such transactions with a commission while knowing that the revenue came from drug trafficking.

As part of the investigation, police seized about $ 889,000 in cash from Kalra and about 54.3 bitcoins and other cryptocurrencies, worth more than half a million dollars. The announcement says that the maximum penalty Kalra could face is to live a life behind bars.

Meanwhile, a 32-year-old Australian citizen living in the state of Colorado was sentenced to one year in jail after being convicted of money laundering with bitcoin, according to a  statement from the US  Department of Justice also on Friday.

The convict, named Emilio Testa, facilitated exchanges between bitcoin and cash with undercover agents while he knew that revenue was part of narcotics trafficking.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here