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CEO of BitInstant charged for laundering $1 million in Bitcoin drug purchases

27
Jan
2014

Charlie Shrem, the CEO of Bitcoin exchange company BitInstant and a well-known voice in the virtual currency community, has been charged with scheming to sell and launder $1 million worth of Bitcoin to users of the illegal drug website Silk Road. The indictment, unsealed today in Manhattan federal court, says that the 24-year-old Shrem conspired with Robert Faiella, a 52-year-old who used the handle BTCKing. Faiella allegedly obtained Bitcoins from Shrem, then sold them anonymously to Silk Road users at a markup through the site. Faiella and Shrem are each charged with one count of conspiracy to commit money laundering, which carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison, and one count of operating an unlicensed money transmitting business, which carries a maximum sentence of five years in prison.

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