Kunal Karla from California, aged 25 pleads guilty for the unlicensed bitcoin exchange and ATM services used to launder money. As per the court reports, the service provided by Mr.Karla was used by dark web drug dealers and other criminals as well.
With the burgeoning trend of crypto and blockchain industry, money laundering cases are quite often appeared on the bulletins across global crypto Medias. However, this case is said to be a first federal criminal case filed for using a Bitcoin kiosk to launder money.
Man Faces Life Sentence For Operating Unlicensed Bitcoin Service
Mr. Karla, who was also known as “Coinman,” shecklemayne today agreed to plead guilty to federal criminal charges for his illegal activity to launder Bitcoin.
Per the reports, Mr.Karla managed to exchange up to $25 million in cash and cryptocurrency for individuals, including drug-trafficking who reportedly used his Bitcoin ATM kiosk. As per the reports, the unlicensed exchange offered bitcoin trading for US dollars and vice versa from May 2015 to October 2017.
Moreover, it also reported that Mr.Karla used to exchange cash for bitcoins to criminals through LocalBitcoin and Paxful. One such example of serving to a criminal is, offering bitcoin exchange service to dealers selling narcotics on the darknet. Besides all these activities, a Bitcoin ATM that didn’t require users to provide their identities or any other security measures as required under the law was also a part of Karla’s services.
It was also stated that Karla’s clients were big picks who were willing to pay at least $5000 as a fee per transaction. Above all, Karla didn’t bother to follow an Anti-Money laundering program to facilitate any of his service to the individual or its clients.
Law enforcement seized about 54.3 bitcoin and $889,000 in cash from Karla along with his vehicles. He is already accepted and agreed to plead guilty of operating the unlicensed crypto exchange and a kiosk, but the hearing is scheduled for next month. The report hints that Karla’s maximum penalty of engaging in wrongdoing is his whole life in federal prison.
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