The US Government has been regularly cracking down on the individuals all around who are utilizing the peer-to-peer local bitcoins platforms. Recently, an Arizona resident named Thomas Costanzo has been convicted for illegal money transmission and laundering. This week, the US Attorneys Office from the District of Arizona and the Justice Department of the country has convicted Thomas Costanzo (AKA Morpheus) who exchanged $164,000 worth of crypto trades and Bitcoins on the LocalBitcoins platform.
The US Attorneys Office from the District of Arizona and the Justice Department claim the investigation supported by over two consecutive years of transactions done. Bitcoin.com in April 2017 reported in a news that Costanzo’s home has been raided and he had been detained by Homeland Security on April 20, 2017. At that time, the local media outlets suggested that the charges pushed against Costanzo are stemmed from the nationwide cryptocurrency anti-money laundering crackdown and by US federal agencies.
Apart from the LocalBitcoins platform Thomas Costanzo also used to run his own cryptocurrency sales over the counter. For the same, he was charged by the prosecutors with five counts of money laundering on March 28, 2018. Besides this Costanzo also advertised in an advertisement that he was willing to get engaged in a cash transaction of up to $50,000. According to the Arizona Attorneys Office when the undercover federal agents successfully approached Costanzo and tried to mislead him by saying that they all were drug dealers Costanzo provided them with the bitcoins and told them it is one of the great ways to limit their exposure to law enforcement in the country.
The report further mentioned the details regarding the amount of money laundering which was approximately $164,000 in cash which Costanzo received from the undercover agents. The law enforcement team also stated that Costanzo has been using bitcoin in order to purchase the narcotics over the Internet for which he used to charge 7 to 10 percent in peer to peer transactions which in centralized exchanges were only 1 to 2 percent.
The investigation was conducted by the IRS, DEA, ICE, Homeland Security, the US Post office and local Arizona police forces as per the statement generated by the US authorities. The District Judge G. Murray Snow would be releasing the sentence on June 11, 2018, against Costanzo. There are five money laundering charges against Costanzo which could bring him to around 20 years of imprisonment or a fine of $250,000 and even both. According to the Attorneys, there are various other similar launderers all over the country and they are planning on convicting all of them very soon.