Executives of New York Bitcoin startup arrested for alleged money laundering

By VCPOST Staff Reporter

Jan 28, 2014 03:51 AM EST

Two operators of online Bitcoin payment processor BitInstant were arrested for alleged money laundering, according to the Manhattan US attorney on Monday. The two executives now face at least 25 years in prison for the case tied to the illegal drug sale using Bitcoin, wrote PC World.

BitInstant chief Charlie Shrem and compliance officer Robert Faiella were charged with the scheme to sell over $1 million worth of the cryptocurrency to users of an online black market for drugs and guns called "Silk Road." According to a statement by the US Attorney's Office for the Southern District of New York, the two operators knowingly helped facilitate drug sales on Silk Road between 2011 and 2013, the report detailed.

Both Shrem and Faiella were charged with operating an unlicensed money transmitting business and conspiring to commit money laundering, the US attorney said. Each of these charges carry a maximum sentence of 25 years jail time. Shrem also received a charge of willful failure to file a suspicious activity report. The latter carries a maximum sentence of five years jail time, the report explained.

Shrem is scheduled for an appearance in Manhattan federal court on Monday. On the other hand, Faiella is set to appear in Florida federal court, wrote PC World.

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