California Man Jailed After Utilizing Bitcoin to Launder $13 Million

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  • Hugo Mejia, 50, was sentenced to 3 years in jail for working an unlicensed cash change.
  • Mejia exchanged $13 million in bitcoin and money, laundering cash linked to drug trafficking.
  • Caught in a sting operation, he pleaded responsible, based on a US Legal professional’s Workplace press launch.
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Hugo Mejia, a 50-year-old California man, has been jailed for 3 years after organising an unlicensed cryptocurrency change enterprise.

The agency exchanged at the very least $13 million in bitcoin and money, usually for drug traffickers, the US Legal professional’s Workplace mentioned.

The crimes occurred between Might 2018 and September 2020.

AP Information reported that Mejia was sentenced to 3 years in jail on Thursday after pleading responsible in July to working an unlicensed cash transmitting enterprise and cash laundering.

Mejia, who lived in San Bernardino County, admitted to establishing a number of companies, together with one known as “The HODL Group LLC,” in an try to cover his identification and exercise.

He additionally didn’t register his firm with the Monetary Crimes Enforcement Community, a bureau within the Treasury Division that tackles such crimes. Final 12 months, the bureau’s work was underneath the highlight after leaked paperwork have been shared with information shops.

Mejia’s case was underneath investigation by the IRS and Division of Homeland Safety, in collaboration with Costa Mesa Police Division.

The Legal professional’s Workplace press launch acknowledged {that a} consumer who was working with legislation enforcement met Mejia a number of occasions between Might 2019 and March 2020 to change bitcoin for money.

On March 12, 2020, the consumer met Mejia in a espresso store and exchanged $82,150 in money for the equal bitcoin. Throughout this change, the consumer made clear he labored with an Australian drug seller.

The consumer who was working for legislation enforcement and Mejia performed greater than $250,000 price of bitcoin and money exchanges over 5 conferences.

As a part of his plea settlement, Mejia forfeited $233,987 in money seized from California residences, silver cash, and bars, in addition to practically $100,000 in numerous cryptocurrencies.

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