Over fifty cryptocurrency firms had to end operations following investigations led by the United States Secret Service’s money laundering and cybercrime Task Force. In addition, a bitcoin firm and its officials in the U.S. have been charged for running an unauthorized cryptocurrency enterprise in Ohio, which was unlawfully benefitting from victims of cybercrimes and cryptocurrency scams.
The crypto enterprise that was going by the name S&P solutions, which was operating as Bitcoin of America, together with three of its officials, is being indicted for conspiracy, money laundering, and other crimes linked to the operation of fifty-two unauthorized crypto enterprises in the United States.
The crypto firm was charged at the beginning of the month; those indicted included Sonny Meraban, the founder and owner of the enterprise, and William Suriano, the company attorney and manager Reza Meraban. The three were arrested last week, and search warrants were issued on their homes in Illinois and Florida.
According to the prosecutor, Andrew Rogalski, the trio took advantage of the lack of adequate anti-money laundering policies in the enterprise infrastructure to move funds and assets out of customers’ cryptocurrency wallets.
The prosecuting Attorney reported during a press release that the ATMs are designed and ready-made for cybercriminals and scammers, alleging that the perpetrators direct their victims, who are alleged to be vulnerable or otherwise elderly, to particularly go to bitcoin of America ATMs, and access the funds they have withdrawn from their accounts.
They are further directed to put the funds into the machine in exchange for bitcoin in an account they think that it belongs to them but, in reality, have no control or power over the account. The prosecutor added that in one event, an elderly individual was a victim of their scam. The individual lost 11,250 dollars in three transactions to one of the unauthorized crypto enterprises in less than an hour of these operations.
Currently, the enterprise allegedly profited from a twenty percent transaction fee whenever their operations were successful and proceeded with their operation even after realizing it was appropriate of them to do so.
The charges also claim that the enterprise could execute its operations because of written misrepresentations concerning the company’s nature to government authorities, enabling the company to operate without a money transfer and trading license, according to information from Law360.
Over fifty-two Bitcoin ATMs were forced to end their operations the previous week. However, the firm has more in other states and Ohio. It is speculated that Bitcoin of America made almost 3.5 million dollars in profits from fund deposits at these unauthorized enterprises in 2021, the prosecuting Attorney commented.
Authorities trust that the company has been working and evading regulatory securities and financial compliance needs for over five years. In addition, the United States Secret Service’s money laundering and cybercrime task force allegedly influenced the investigation into the company and its officials.
In October of the previous year, the Federal Bureau of investigations Miami field office urged that digital and virtual asset ATMs such as Bitcoin ATMs were becoming famous and common grounds for scammers, hackers, and cybercriminals to defraud and deceive traders and investors in the crypto industry in a growing uptrend of pig butchering cybercrimes.
The United States authorities have tightened the note in cracking down on financial institutions involved in this malicious activity. That aims at protecting the security of consumers involved in such enterprises,