A Louisiana man and his son have plead guilty to running an unlicensed bitcoin exchange, the US Department of Justice said today.

According to the Justice Department, Randall Lord and his son, Michael, plead guilty to one count of conspiracy to operate an unlicensed money services business. Further, the Lords allegedly failed to report cash receipts in excess of $10,000.

The elder Lord also plead guilty to a charge of conspiracy to distribute the anti-anxiety medication alprazolam.

The Justice Department said in a statement:

“According to the guilty plea, from at least 2013 to 2015, the defendants were accepting currency, money orders and MoneyPaks and exchanging those funds for bitcoin, a decentralized form of electronic or digital currency, existing entirely on the Internet and not in any physical form. Contrary to law, the Lords were not registered with FinCEN or licensed to operate as a money service business with the State of Louisiana.”

The two face as many as five years in prison for the money services business charge, and Randall Lord could be sentenced to an additional five years on the drug charge. The two could also be sentenced with three years of supervised release and as much as $250,000 in fines.

Sentencing is set to take place in August.

Image via Shutterstock

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