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Florida Arrests High-Dollar Bitcoin Exchangers For Money Laundering 149

Posted by timothy
from the if-we're-not-peeking-you're-not-allowed dept.
tsu doh nimh writes "State authorities in Florida on Thursday announced criminal charges targeting three men who allegedly ran illegal businesses moving large amounts of cash in and out of the Bitcoin virtual currency. Experts say this is likely the first case in which Bitcoin vendors have been prosecuted under state anti-money laundering laws, and that prosecutions like these could shut down one of the last remaining avenues for purchasing Bitcoins anonymously."
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Florida Arrests High-Dollar Bitcoin Exchangers For Money Laundering

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  • by NynexNinja (379583) on Saturday February 08, 2014 @06:31PM (#46198655)
    If someone comes up to your business and says "hey i'm going to use this for illegal purposes", and then you agree to accept the money, you're in violation of several laws. RICO is one, and so is money laundering in some cases. His biggest mistake was at the point when they said what they were going to use the money for, in this case to buy stolen credit cards online, he accepted the deal and continued working with them. He should have said that he doesn't do anything illegal and not dealt with the potential customer at that point. That would have shielded him from liability.
  • Re:I bet (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday February 08, 2014 @06:35PM (#46198675)

    As to the topic itself, of-course the gov't sees Bitcoins and thinks 'money laundering'. Don't you know? All money belongs to the government,

    All money is regulated by the democratically elected government, yes.

    they can't stand the thought of people figuring out this whole freedom thing,

    No, people with a dictator complex like the thought of creating something unaccountable to government, i.e. unaccountable to the people.

    what if the people realise they don't actually have to pay taxes en mass and simply don't pay.

    "What if Somalia?"

    What happens when everybody simply stops paying?

    What if everyone just starts raping and shooting everyone? What if the real world was like one dimensional fiction? Nerds, tell us.

  • by Attila Dimedici (1036002) on Saturday February 08, 2014 @06:43PM (#46198721)
    It depends on how law enforcement first came into contact with those that were arrested. The article is somewhat ambiguous about how these guys came to the attention of law enforcement. It does appear that the only real crime these guys committed was being "unlawful money transmitters", which seems like a crime that should not exist to me. When the undercover agent told them that they wanted the bitcoins in order to do something illegal, they should have told them, "Sorry, I will not do business with you." Not because I think that they should legally have to care, but because people who genuinely want bitcoins to do something illegal are not likely to tell you that. This suggests that the person who is telling you his reasons is something other than someone who wants to conduct a transaction. It also seems likely that the reason they presented that they wanted to use the bitcoins for something illegal was because they doubted a jury would have convicted the men on the "unlawful money transmitters" charge.

    Ultimately, I do not know if this was entrapment by the legal definition, but it does seem like a waste of law enforcement resources.
  • by purpledinoz (573045) on Saturday February 08, 2014 @07:00PM (#46198817)
    His biggest mistake was not being politically connected, like HSBC, where they have laundered money for drug dealers and terrorists. They just got a slap on the wrist with a fine. There are two classes of people in America, those who are politically connected, and are immune to jail time, and the rest of America, who are bound to infinite arbitrary laws which are selectively enforced.
  • Fuck beta (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Indigo (2453) on Saturday February 08, 2014 @07:08PM (#46198875)

    The new Slashdot design is based on Windows 8. That fact alone, even aside from the numerous usability issues, indicates that the new owners have no fucking idea in the world what they've acquired.

    Slashdot is a technology site, a geek site, an open source site, a programming site, an Internet / Web advocacy site. But more than that, it is a Linux community site. It lives and dies by its community. That community, by and large, is made up of passionate Linux advocates who can be whipped into a frenzy at the mention of Microsoft, who think Bill Gates is the Great Satan, who sincerely believe in free and open source software, and who implement that passion in their lives, hobbies, and jobs. Sure, not everyone here fits the mold. But that's the core of the community.

    As one single data point, I work on simulators in the aerospace segment. We develop and integrate specialized, whole-system, software-only simulators, supporting software development when the hardware has limited availability or hasn't been built yet. Our user community is not large, but includes key technical people at well known organizations. Like others we interface with, our work has gone from Windows and Linux in the beginning, to mostly Linux, plus Windows if we have to. That's how we like it. Linux works for us - it's developer friendly, it's rock solid, it's quite deployable, and it lets us do what we need to do. And a bunch of us come to Slashdot to catch the news on Linux and other geek-worthy subjects, and discuss it with others.

    And now the owners, having acquired this rather unique and valuable site, want to make it into Windows fucking 8 - the friendly, cuddly, but unusable Fisher-Price operating system that represents everything we despise? The mind reels. You might as well just make it a SEO parking page for Microsoft.

    Seriously, DICE, do not do this thing. I know you don't care about the history, community, or shared values of this site, but this move will destroy them, and take the site with it. It will become a ghost town, abandoned by its residents, only visited by tourists and people that got lost on their way somewhere else.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday February 08, 2014 @07:17PM (#46198927)

    A bitcoin advocate's position on this would be something along the lines of "because government wants to destroy bitcoin, and government owns the media."

    However, this tells you more about bitcoin advocates than it does about your original question.

  • by Bronster (13157) <> on Saturday February 08, 2014 @07:21PM (#46198955) Homepage

    Tell me the last time you heard a cash story that wasn't about money laundering or counterfeit cash.

    Person pays person for product and/or service, everybody happy with transaction - not news.

    Basically, news stories are an indication of shit that sells news - and unsurpisingly, money laundering is one of those things. So news stories are biased. You mostly hear about the things which are crap, because they're "newsworthy".


  • by ATMAvatar (648864) on Saturday February 08, 2014 @07:44PM (#46199065) Journal
    It's less about being politically correct than it is about the amount that was laundered. If there were six more zeroes at the end of the sum, the guy would have gotten off with a warning.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday February 08, 2014 @10:19PM (#46199703)

    Beta isn't evolution, it's chlorination. It will completely sterilize slashdot of all reasons to come here.

As far as we know, our computer has never had an undetected error. -- Weisert