Detroit Bitcoin Trader Gets Jail Time for Unlicensed Money Business

A Detroit resident was sentenced Monday to 366 days in jail for operating an unlicensed money services business involving bitcoin.

Dec 5, 2017 at 3:20 p.m. UTC
Updated Sep 13, 2021 at 7:14 a.m. UTC

A Detroit bitcoin trader was sentenced Monday to 366 days in jail for operating an unlicensed money services business.

The individual, Sal Mansy, was arrested in June 2015 for funneling bitcoin transactions through a corporation he owned called TV TOYZ. Mansy conducted $2.4 million-worth of bitcoin transactions over a two-year period, according to a release from the U.S. Attorneys office in Maine.

Mansy pleaded guilty in May to purchasing bitcoin through the Coinbase and Bitstamp exchanges, and selling the cryptocurrency at a profit through LocalBitcoins, as CoinDesk previously reported.

According to the release:

“It is against federal law for a money-service business to exchange or transfer bitcoin without registering. Mansy was aware that he was required to register with FinCEN.”

Following his jail time for the offence, Mansy will receive three years of supervised release. He must further forfeit $118,000 in cash and bitcoin gained through the illegal scheme. Investigators confiscated roughly that amount during his arrest in 2015.

Undercover investigators conducted two trades with Mansy for amounts totaling 6.32 BTC – an amount valued at $1,900 at the time and now worth nearly $75,000, according to CoinDesk's Bitcoin Price Index.

The case is just one of a number arrests in recent years for running illegal businesses using bitcoin.

In October, another Michigan resident, Bradley Stetkiw, was charged with running an unlicensed money transmitting business after selling some $150,000 in bitcoin.

Stetkiw also used LocalBitcoins to facilitate his transactions, and federal agents bought $56,000 worth of bitcoin from him at the time.

A third LocalBitcoins user in Missouri, Jason Klein, pleaded guilty to running an unlicensed money transmission business in May, after he sold 98 bitcoins (worth more than $1 million today) to undercover agents in 2015 and 2016.

Jail bars image via Shutterstock

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