A man in New York has been charged with running a cash-to-Bitcoin money laundering scheme in New York. Among other things, the case also shows the negative bias of law enforcement to crypto.
Laundering Money Through Bitcoin
According to a recent Bloomberg report, a 42-year-old man called Thomas Spieker was indicted for allegedly running a “cash-to-Bitcoin” money laundering operation in New York.
The man was supposedly bragging openly on social media about his doings, convincing his clients publicly that they could stay off the radar. Spieker has been searching on Google for various means to launder money through Bitcoin while also bragging to friends that his customers include people who run credit card scams, and one of them was a ketamine dealer.
Spieker’s clients were also charged with a range of crimes, including the operation of an illegal drug marketplace on the dark web.
Alvin Bragg – Manhattan District Attorney – said in a statement that the case “shows us how new technologies like cryptocurrencies can become key drivers of a wide range of criminal activity that can easily span across the globe.”
As alleged, this sprawling web of international money laundering helped drug traffickers, an organized crime ring, and scammers hide their criminal activity and transmit their proceeds around the globe.
Let’s… Back off a Bit
While it’s an undeniable fact that Bitcoin, amongst other cryptocurrencies, can be used for illicit activities, the above statement of DA Bragg seems to be a bit far-fetched. First of all, the entire operation was reportedly worth $2.3 million, which, albeit a lot for an ordinary person, doesn’t bode as a massive sum in the criminal world.
Speaking of money laundering, let’s take a step back and perhaps see how functioning financial institutions have repeatedly been proven to host cash for convicted criminals, drug lords, murderers, and what have you.
A couple of years ago, we reported that a document leak suggested that major banks facilitated over $2 trillion in dirty money over a span of multitude years. If that’s ‘old news,’ let’s look at something more recent.
In February this year, documents claimed that Credit Suisse operated thousands of accounts belonging to alleged criminals. Of course, this is yet to be proven, but the very fact that there’s an ongoing investigation should raise the necessary alarms.
But sure, “this sprawling web of international money laundering helped drug traffickers, an organized crime ring, and scammers hide their criminal activity,” as if legacy institutions haven’t been accused of doing this for years.