A New York man was charged Friday with operating a crypto money laundering scam that he publicly promoted on social media and boasted to customers that he could help them “stay completely off the radar”.
The individual, a former party organizer, was charged by the Manhattan District Attorney with laundering $2.7 million in bitcoin and cash to help various customers hide money obtained through alleged illegal acts.
The MDA refers to the cash-to-bitcoin operation as a “removal” of a global bitcoin laundering venture.
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Using Crypto to Fund Criminal Activities
According to the MDA, Thomas Spieker, 42, and his associates used bitcoin to support a variety of illegal activities, including drug transactions on the dark web.
Authorities said Spieker’s clientele included darknet drug dealers selling ketamine, fake Xanax and other illegal substances in every state in America, a hacker and a member of an Eastern European organized crime group.
The MDA claimed in a statement that between January 2018 and August 2021, Spieker converted more than $2.5 million in Bitcoin and more than $380,000 in cryptocurrency into U.S. dollars, using “a rotating array of henchmen” that bank and crypto. -opened exchange accounts to launder “criminal proceeds.”
BTC total market cap at $833.68 billion on the daily chart | Source: TradingView.com
View? Not quite
Based on a complaint, Spieker began Google searches for the keyword “bitcoin money laundering” in 2014 and published a Facebook post offering his services to individuals who wanted to go completely unnoticed, knowing they were guilty. to unlawful conduct.
Spieker waived his right to a jury trial and was released on his own admission. Richard Verchick, his legal counsel, declined to comment. Six other suspects pleaded not guilty and were released on their own admission.
Spieker, who previously worked in stock research at Goldman Sachs, has been a Bitcoin enthusiast since childhood.
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The man known as DJ S!ck
In 2014, he was featured in a Vice story about his work as a DJ, known as S!CK.
The Manhattan state lawsuit “shows how emerging technologies like bitcoin could become key drivers of a broad spectrum of criminal behavior that could rapidly sprawl around the globe,” Manhattan DA Alvin Bragg said in a statement Thursday.
In addition, Spieker is charged with laundering $620,000 for a customer suspected of being part of an Eastern European organized criminal network and $267,000 for the operator of an international romance fraud.
Featured image from TIME, chart from TradingView.com