The head of crypto exchange Destination Bitcoin is not destined for prison. William Green has evaded the 12 to 18-month prison term sought by prosecutors for running an illegal $2.5 million Bitcoin exchange, reports Law 360.
Green pleaded guilty to operating an unlicensed money transmitting business.
New Jersey prosecutors say he received cash, wire transfers, and online payments from customers and, for a fee, converted fiat to Bitcoin. Green then sent the Bitcoin to the clients’ wallet addresses.
After entering a plea deal, Green must remain under house arrest for the next eight months and cannot run any currency exchange business.
Green’s lawyer, Michael Gilberti, said that his clean rap sheet may have spared his client from a stint behind bars.
“The court believed that the individual factors of his background, [including] his lack of criminal history [and] the fact that it didn’t look like he’d be a candidate to repeat this offense, outweighed some of the other considerations,” Gilberti said (via Law360).
- Green procured cryptocurrency for Destination Bitcoin clients between August 2017 through February 2019.
- He will remain on probation for three years and must pay an $80,000 fine.
- He broke federal law for failing to first register Destination Bitcoin with the US Treasury.
Green knew unregistered Bitcoin exchange was illegal
In April, Green admitted to a Monmouth County court that he knowingly operated his Bitcoin exchange outside of the law.
He told US District Judge Kevin McNulty via video conference that he was aware that he should have registered Destination Bitcoin with the Secretary of the Treasury but still failed to do so.
As part of a plea deal with prosecutors, he avoids a maximum penalty of five years in prison. He also dodges a $250,000 fine for running an unlicensed money transmitting business.
Green agreed to hand over the $51,000 in cash discovered at his home during his March 2019 arrest.
Things began to unravel for Green when the exchange he used to buy his clients’ Bitcoin began to question his unusually high trading activity.
The unnamed New York exchange flagged Green’s account in January 2018. However, he claimed that he was using his own cash to buy Bitcoin.
He even provided a payslip that showed evidence of a $450,000 annual wage. However, the exchange was unsatisfied with his evidence and closed his account in March 2018.
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