December 9, 2022

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California man gets prison for Bitcoin money laundering

Image Courtesy: AssociatedPress

The company was never registered with the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network, a Treasury Department division that fights financial crimes such as money laundering.

According to the US Attorney’s Office, a Southern California man was sentenced to three years in federal prison for operating an unregistered business that transferred at least $13 million in Bitcoin and cash.

Hugo Mejia, 50, of Ontario, willfully broke money-laundering laws and constructed his business to create an anonymous conduit for drug-trafficking proceeds, according to federal prosecutors in a sentencing memorandum.

On Thursday, Mejia was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Cormac J. Carney. In July, Mejia pleaded guilty to one count of money laundering and one count of operating an illegal money transmitting business.

From May 2018 until September 2020, Mejia swapped Bitcoin for cash and vice versa, charging commissions for the transactions, according to authorities.

The company was never registered with the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network, a Treasury Department division that fights financial crimes such as money laundering.

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