Man Charged for $2 Million Worth of Unlicensed Bitcoin Sales

Samuel Haig

A man from Monmouth County, New Jersey who sold more than $2 million worth of Bitcoin through a private website was indicted by a federal grand jury for operating an unlicensed money transmitting business on July 24.

Forty-six-year-old William Green operated the website ‘Destination Bitcoin’, through which he exchanged fiat currency into BTC for his customers in exchange for a fee.

Charged for Operating Unlicensed Bitcoin Exchange

A press release published by the Department of Justice states that: 

Federal law provides that any person who owns or controls a money transmitting business shall register the business (whether or not the business is licensed as a money transmitting business in any State) with the Secretary of the Treasury.

“Green did not register, either in his own name or in the name of his business, with the Secretary of the United States Treasury as a money transmitting business,” the release adds.The man will face a maximum sentence of 5 years imprisonment and a $250,000 fine. The date for Green court hearing is yet to be established.

This is the second instance in which Green has been charged with operating an unlicensed money transmitting business, having received charges for the same offense on Feb. 8, 2019.

New Jersey Cracks Down on Unlicensed Sale of Cryptoassets

On July 17, a civil complaint was filed with the Attorney General of New Jersey accusing Pecketinns, Inc., and the company’s president, Sarvajnya Mada, of selling more than $400,000 worth of unlicensed securities through an unlicensed initial coin offering (ICO). The ICO was conducted between Jan. 15 and Jan. 31 2018, distributing ‘PINNS’ tokens to investors in exchange for ETH.

The defendants are accused of violating New Jersey’s Uniform Securities Law, with only 11 of the 217 individuals that participated in the token sole providing documentation evidencing their status as accredited investors. Neither Pockettins or Mada are believed to have registered with New Jersey’s Bureau of Securities.

The acting director of the Division of Consumer Affairs, Paul Rodriguez, stated: 

By failing to take reasonable steps to verify that purchasers were accredited investors capable of bearing the increased risks associated with unregistered securities, the defendants violated the law and exposed investors to financial losses that could have been devastating.