The number of illegal activities in the world of digital assets has always kept law enforcement agencies on their toes. New reports revealed that the Financial Crime Enforcement Network [FinCEN] of the United States has penalized Eric Powers, a peer to peer Bitcoin [BTC] trader for violating the Bank Secrecy Act and its sub-clauses, including, registration, reporting requirements and program.
Kenneth A. Blanco, the FinCEN Director stated:
“Obligations under the BSA apply to money transmitters regardless of their size. It should not come as a surprise that we will take enforcement action based on what we have publicly stated since our March 2013 Guidance—that exchangers of convertible virtual currency, such as Mr. Powers, are money transmitters and must register as MSBs.”
The Director further added:
“In fact, there were indications that Mr. Powers specifically was aware of these obligations, but willfully failed to honor them. Such failures put our financial system and national security at risk and jeopardize the safety and well-being of our people, as well as undercut responsible innovation in the financial services space.”
The regulatory body also pointed out that Powers had conducted transactions on the dark web too, more specifically, on the infamous Silk Road. Details have emerged that Powers also conducted physical transfers of over $10,000. This was followed by Powers purchasing BTC worth $5 million spanning 160 purchase orders and as noted by the FinCEN, these purchase orders were conducted in public places like coffee shops to avoid identification.
The organization further stated that Powers later complied with the authorities in getting the case resolved. As a measure against his illegal activities, FinCEN stated:
“In addition to paying a $35,000 fine, Mr. Powers has agreed to an industry bar that would prohibit him from providing money transmission services or engaging in any other activity that would make him a “money services business” for purposes of FinCEN regulations.”
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