A father-son duo from the state of Louisiana pleaded guilty to operating an illegal, unlicensed bitcoin exchange.
An announcement from the U.S. Department of Justice revealed that Randall Lord, 58 and his son Michael Lord, 29, both from Shreveport, Louisiana, plead guilty to one count of conspiracy to operate an unlicensed money servicing business.
In addition to the charge, Michael Lord also pleaded guilty to one count of agreeing to distribute Schedule IV controlled drug and anti-anxiety medication alprazolam.
The duo also failed to report the receipt of over $10,000 in U.S. dollars.
In a statement via a media release, the Department of Justice stated:
According to the guilty plea, from at least 2013 to 2015, the defendants were accepting currency, money orders and money paks from exchanging those funds for bitcoin, a decentralized form of electronic or digital currency, existing entirely on the Internet and not in any physical form.
Contrary to law, the Lords were not registered with FinCEN or licensed to operate as a money service business with the State of Louisiana.
Both defendants face five years in prison for the conspiracy count of running the unlicensed bitcoin exchange and the younger Lord faces five years for the drug count. The duo also face a $250,000 fine and three years of supervised release.
The sentencing date is set on August 1, 2016.
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