An American Bitcoin trader has been sentenced to two years behind bars for illegally trading Bitcoin. Jacob Burrell Campos was found guilty of failing to register a Bitcoin exchange, from where he sold hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of Bitcoin. On top of failing to register his exchange business, Campos also failed to implement KYC and AML policies, meaning he could have been actively involved in the laundering of money obtained from illicit sources.
The 22-year-old also admitted to carrying large amounts of cash into the US on a daily basis from Mexico over a two-year period between 2016 and 2018 – presumably the profits from his illegal trading business.
A Convoluted Process
Campos had clearly planned out his little business venture, as when his first Bitcoin trading account got shut down, he was back up and running days later with yet another exchange. Campos started his business buy buying Bitcoin from an unregulated US-based exchange, which subsequently shut his account down due to suspiciously large trading volumes. He then opened an account with another unregulated exchange, this time based in Hong Kong. It was from this new exchange that Campos managed to purchase $3.29 million worth of Bitcoin, which he then sold for cash in the US and Mexico at an inflated price. Along with two years in jail, Campos was forced to surrender $823,357 in illicit profits from his little business venture.
Not as Bad as it Could Have Been
Campos has been in police custody since October 2018 and as we originally reported, he was staring down the barrel of up to five years in the big house. However, given his young age, the court decided to go easy on him, giving him just two out of the maximum five years in jail. With good behavior, Campos could be out in just a couple of months – if he plays his cards right.
Other American Traders Arrested
The US government has been cracking down on unregulated crypto traders, and has thrown many in jail. The US Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) slapped Joseph Kim with a $1.1 million fine and 15-months behind bars for defrauding his employer and investors out of more than $600,000 in various cryptos. Undercover agents managed to bring down Louis Ong who ran a similar operation. However, Ong only received 20-days behind bars for his crypto trading activities.
The US is cleaning up its crypto trading scene rather rapidly, hinting that it’s about to roll out a new set of laws and regulations for all crypto exchanges in the country. It’s about time that shady Bitcoin dealers were cut from the market, but they do help individuals gain Bitcoin exposure who cannot pass KYC measures for whatever reason.