A New Orleans resident has been charged for selling bitcoin without registering with the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN). If convicted, the seller may receive a maximum of five years in prison, a maximum $250,000 fine, up to three years of supervised release, and a $100 mandatory special assessment.
The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) announced Thursday that a New Orleans bitcoin seller named Michael Yusko has been charged with operating an unlicensed money transmitting business.
The announcement details that “Under federal law, any business that engages in ‘the acceptance of currency, funds, or other value that substitutes for currency from one person and the transmission of currency, funds, or other value that substitutes for currency to another location or person by any means’ is deemed to be a money transmitting business.” It adds:
Such businesses include those that trade fiat currency, such as U.S. dollars, for cryptocurrency, such as bitcoin, litecoin, and ethereum. These companies must register with the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (‘FinCEN’) as money transmitting businesses.
Yusko was the owner and manager of Nervous Light Capital LLC, court documents show. “He used Nervous Light Capital, along with the bank accounts of four other companies, to sell bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies to customers,” the DOJ noted.
The DOJ stated that Yusko did not register any of these companies with FinCEN as money transmitting businesses, noting:
If convicted, Yusko may receive a maximum of five years in prison, a maximum $250,000.00 fine, up to three years of supervised release, and a $100 mandatory special assessment.
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