The Manhattan District Attorney’s office revealed Thursday that a former party organizer has been charged with laundering $2.7 million in Bitcoin (BTC) and cash to help various customers hide money acquired via criminal activities.
Thomas Blackaller Spiekaer, Jr., 42, was indicted today by Manhattan District Attorney Alvin L. Bragg, Jr. for running a global money-laundering operation. At least 7 clients, who were involved in a variety of illicit activities, were able to use Bitcoin anonymously to hide and obscure their illegal gains as a result of this operation.
Spieker transferred more than $2.3 million into BTC and more than $380,000 worth of BTC into US dollars between January 2018 and August 2021, employing a rotating group of accomplices to open bank and cryptocurrency exchange accounts to launder illegal gains. Ricky J. Patel, Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) New York Acting Special Agent in Charge, said,
“It is alleged that the defendant charged today openly bragged about laundering illicit proceeds for a Rolodex of crooks involved in a variety of unscrupulous activity ranging from dark web drug dealing to identity theft and other online scams. While Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies are quickly emerging as alternatives to traditional monetary payments, transnational criminal organizations and malicious actors are evolving to utilize these methods of payment to launder dirty money in perceived anonymity.”
Further proceedings of Bitcoin fraud
Spieker is charged with many charges of illegal money transfer and money laundering in the third and fourth degrees, and has pled not guilty in New York State Supreme Court. 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.
Dustin Sites, 32, is charged with one count of unlicensed money transmission, according to the DA. Several of Spieker’s customers, who were also probed by the Manhattan District Attorney, are accused of conducting an illicit drug bazaar on the dark web and an identity theft scam that allegedly affected 30 people.
According to the complaint, Spieker began studying the phrase “bitcoin money laundering” in Google searches in 2014, and he posted on Facebook that his services were for people who “wanted to stay fully off the radar,” with the understanding that they were involved in illicit activities.
Spieker and three proxies, including Sites, allegedly met with clients who gave them cash in exchange for Bitcoin or “vice versa,” and took a 4% to 12% charge. Spieker and his associates are accused of opening 28 bank accounts as well as eight bitcoin exchange accounts.