A federal court has sentenced a Detroit man to a year and a day in prison and three years of supervised release for trading bitcoin without a money service license, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Maine. The man, Sal Mansy, 41, has been sentenced along with his company, TV TOYZ LLC. Halsey Frank, a U.S Attorney, announced. Mansy pleaded guilty to the charges in May of this year.
The court ordered the defendants to forfeit close to $118,000 worth of bitcoin and cash.
The case was prosecuted in Maine since Mansy’s company had advertised in Maine and he engaged in wire-payment transactions with Maine customers, U.S. Attorney Michael Conley told Mainebiz.com.
Mansy purchased and sold around $2.4 million worth of bitcoin between August 2013 and June 2015, according to court records. Mansy funneled his transactions through TV TOYZ’s bank account. Mansy owned and operated TV TOYZ, a limited liability corporation.
Mansy failed to register his money service business with the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network, in violation of federal law. Mansy violated Title 18 of the U.S. Code, section 1960, which outlaws transferring money as a business for others without obtaining the proper licenses.
Mansy knew he needed to register with FinCEN, the court records stated.
Agents seized a total of $118,134.57 worth of bitcoin and cash while searching Mansy’s Detroit home in June 2015 following a year-long investigation.
The Homeland Security Investigation of the Portland, Me. and Detroit, Mich. offices of the U.S. Immigration & Customs Enforcement conducted the investigation, along with the Saco Police Department.
An October 2015 Congressional Research Service report said Congress is concerned about bitcoin’s use in illegal money transfers, and about its effect on the ability of the Federal Reserve to meet its objectives (of stable prices, maximum employment, and financial stability). The report also expressed concerns about protecting consumers and investors who might use bitcoin.
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