FBI Charges 6 for Allegedly Running $30M Money Transmitting Business Using Crypto

The filing alleges that the accused knowingly conducted an illegal business by using the darknet to convert bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies into cash.

AccessTimeIconOct 20, 2023 at 3:56 p.m. UTC

The FBI has charged six people for allegedly operating an illegal $30 million money-transmitting business using cryptocurrencies, according to court documents filed Wednesday in the Southern District of New York.

The six – Shaileshkumar Goyani, Brijeshkumar Patel, Hirenkumar Patel, Naineshkumar Patel, Nileshkumar Patel and Raju Patel – operated without an appropriate money transmitting license in New York, according to the filing.

The details, disclosed in the unsealed affidavit of an FBI agent seeking the individuals' arrest, reveal that between July 2021 and September 2023 they conducted the illegal business by using the darknet to convert bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies into cash.

The U.S. Magistrate judge has granted the conditional release of at least one of the people named, Naineshkumar Patel, according to a court document.

The filing cites an unidentified co-conspirator as saying that at least some clients "made money by selling drugs" and that the wealthiest clients "were hackers." The co-conspirator told an undercover officer that he had made approximately $30 million over three years through the exchange of cash for virtual currency.

On Feb. 7, 2023, law enforcement arrested an individual who had been mailing packages of cash on behalf of the unnamed co-conspirator from a post office in Westchester County, New York. The arrested individual would later become a confidential source and for the next eight months cooperate with law enforcement in approximately 80 controlled pick-ups of cash totaling approximately $15 million.

The filing has photographic and video surveillance evidence of the accused in the act alleging that the defendants are not registered and do not have a licensed money-transmitting business, which is required in New York.

Edited by Sheldon Reback.


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.

Amitoj Singh

Amitoj Singh is a CoinDesk reporter.