New York Bitcoin User Charged With Unlawful Money Transmission

A New York man has been charged with operating an unlawful money transmitting business in connection the sale of bitcoins.

AccessTimeIconMar 14, 2016 at 8:28 p.m. UTC
Updated Sep 11, 2021 at 12:10 p.m. UTC

A New York man has been charged with operating an unlawful money transmitting business in connection with the sale of bitcoins, the US Department of Justice announced on Friday.

The government said last week that it was charging Rochester, New York, resident Richard Petix with illegally selling $200,000 in bitcoin between August 2014 and December of last year. Notably, the report does not provide information on any state-specific laws Petix was in violation of when conducting the sale.

Petix's charges, the Justice Department said, are connected to a wider alleged scheme that involved money laundering as well as the trafficking of controlled substances and stolen goods.

According to court documents filed with the US District Court of the Western District of New York, Petix has also been charged with lying to the Federal Bureau of Investigation about ownership of electronic devices.

The Justice Department had alleged that this is a violation of a release agreement stemming from a 2009 guilty plea to a child pornography charge, which stipulated that Petix must alert authorities when using digital devices and allow them to examine any devices he used.

Petix allegedly conducted a bitcoin transaction with an undercover agent, using a computer that he later denied owning.

The Justice Department said:

"However, on December 3, 2015, Petix conducted a bitcoin sale with an undercover federal agent. Using his laptop computer and smartphone, the defendant transferred 37 bitcoins worth approximately $13,000 to the agent. But when confronted by federal probation officers at the scene, Petix claimed that the laptop and smartphone were not his."

Petix is set to be arraigned tomorrow and faces up to 10 years in prison if convicted on both charges.

Image via Shutterstock

Disclosure

Please note that our privacy policy, terms of use, cookies, and do not sell my personal information has been updated.

CoinDesk is an award-winning media outlet that covers the cryptocurrency industry. Its journalists abide by a strict set of editorial policies. In November 2023, CoinDesk was acquired by the Bullish group, owner of Bullish, a regulated, digital assets exchange. The Bullish group is majority-owned by Block.one; both companies have interests in a variety of blockchain and digital asset businesses and significant holdings of digital assets, including bitcoin. CoinDesk operates as an independent subsidiary with an editorial committee to protect journalistic independence. CoinDesk employees, including journalists, may receive options in the Bullish group as part of their compensation.


Read more about