Peer-to-Peer Bitcoiner Gets Year in Prison for Being Unlicensed

“Detroit Man Sentenced to a Year and a Day for Operating an Unlicensed Bitcoin Business”, boasts Department of Justice U.S. Attorney’s Office, District of Maine, in a press release dated December 4. An action involving many different agencies and bureaus over two states resulted in the arrest, plea, and jailing of Sal Mansy for not registering his peer-to-peer bitcoin sales and profit with the requisite agency.

Also read: US Government’s New Cyber Unit Files its First Charges Against “ICO Scam”

Peer-to-Peer Bitcoin Sales and Profit Targeted

Localbitcoins is a peer-to-peer exchange allowing buyers and sellers of cryptocurrencies to safely trade, and generally to get rid of or ahold of fiat paper. Increasingly, this service in particular is being targeted by U.S. federal law enforcement authorities who, in spite of lawmakers’ pronouncements about bitcoin not being a currency, are invoking currency statutes to prosecute bitcoiners.

Detroit’s Sal Mansy is the third such case. Mr. Mansy was investigated for a year as he exchanged bitcoin through Localbitcoins. The Department of Justice, US Treasury Department, Financial Crimes Enforcement Network, U.S. Immigration & Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations, and the Saco Police Department were set upon Mr. Mansy as a result.

Peer-to-Peer Bitcoiner Gets Year in Prison for Being Unlicensed

Mr. Mansy is said to have trafficked in 2,400,000 USD worth of bitcoin during a two-year stretch, beginning summer of 2013. Over a one-year period, through June of 2015, agents traded with Mr. Mansy two times in slightly more than 6 bitcoin then worth roughly 2,000 USD in total.

Their yield?

They were able to pin exactly one count of violating “18 U.S.C. § 1960 by unlawfully operating an unlicensed money transmitting business, in this case, a business dealing in the virtual currency Bitcoin,” Read More Here