Former Party Organizer Indicted for Laundering $2.7M in Bitcoin and Cash

Thomas Spieker was indicted for operating a global bitcoin laundering scheme that helped multiple clients hide profits earned from illegal activities.

AccessTimeIconMar 25, 2022 at 2:02 a.m. UTC
Updated May 11, 2023 at 4:40 p.m. UTC

The Manhattan (N.Y.) District Attorney has charged a former party organizer with laundering $2.7 million in bitcoin (BTC) and cash to help multiple clients hide money they allegedly earned from illegal activities.

  • In a statement issued Thursday, the Manhattan DA alleged that between January 2018 and August 2021, 42-year-old Thomas Spieker converted over $2.3 million into bitcoin, and separately, more than $380,000 of bitcoin into U.S. dollars, via "a rotating set of accomplices" who opened bank and crypto exchange accounts to enable the laundering of "criminal proceeds."
  • “As alleged, this sprawling web of international money laundering helped drug traffickers, an organized crime ring, and scammers hide their criminal activity and transmit their proceeds around the globe,” DA Alvin Bragg said in the announcement. “This case shows us how new technologies like cryptocurrency can become key drivers of a wide range of criminal activity that can easily span across the globe."
  • Spieker, who pleaded not guilty in New York State Supreme Court, faces multiple counts of unlicensed money transmission and money laundering in the third and fourth degrees. His LinkedIn profile listed his most recent jobs as a partner in a talent agency and the founder of the party production firm, S!ck Productions. Earlier in his career, he spent over two years as an equity derivatives specialist at Goldman Sachs (GS).
  • Dustin Sites, 32, whom the DA says aided Spieker in the scheme, faces one count of unlicensed money transmission. Several of Spieker's clients, whom the prosecutor also investigated, face charges on running an illegal drug marketplace on the dark web and an identify theft scheme, the latter of which allegedly victimized 30 people.
  • The complaint alleges that in 2014 Spieker began researching the phrase "bitcoin money laundering" in Google searches, and that he wrote a Facebook post saying that his services were for individuals "who wanted to stay completely off the radar," with an understanding that they were engaged in illegal activity.
  • Spieker and three three proxies, including Sites, allegedly met with clients who handed them cash in exchange for bitcoin, or "vice versa," and collected a 4% to 12% fee. Spieker and his accomplices allegedly opened 28 bank accounts and eight cryptocurrency exchange accounts.
  • Ricky Patel, the Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) New York agent overseeing the investigation, said in the announcement that Spieker had "openly bragged about laundering illicit proceeds."


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; 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.

James Rubin

James Rubin was CoinDesk's U.S. news editor based on the West Coast.