Tags: Bitcoin | Guilty | Unlicensed | Currency

Bitcoin Promoter Pleads Guilty to Unlicensed Use of Currency

Thursday, 04 September 2014 06:00 PM

A man who helped to promote bitcoin wants to remain in the business despite pleading guilty Thursday to indirectly helping send more than $1 million in the digital currency to users of the illicit online marketplace Silk Road, his lawyer said.

Charlie Shrem, 24, pleaded guilty at a hearing in New York federal court to one count of aiding and abetting an unlicensed money transmitting business.

A co-conspirator, Robert Faiella, 54, pleaded guilty to a similar charge, and both men face up to five years in prison when they appear again in court in January.

"I knew that much of the business on Silk Road involved the buying and selling of narcotics," Shrem said in court. "I knew that what I was doing was wrong."

His lawyer, Marc Agnifilo, said that what Shrem did was an aberration and that Shrem plans to continue working in the bitcoin world if possible. Agnifilo emphasized that his client was not involved in directly supplying bitcoin to Silk Road users.

"We believe he is at least one step more removed from the heartland of illegal conduct, which is really Silk Road," the lawyer said.

The two pleaded guilty as part of a deal struck with prosecutors from the office of Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara. They had been scheduled to go on trial Sept. 22.

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A man who helped to promote bitcoin wants to remain in the business despite pleading guilty Thursday to indirectly helping send more than $1 million in the digital currency to users of the illicit online marketplace Silk Road, his lawyer said.
Bitcoin, Guilty, Unlicensed, Currency
221
2014-00-04
Thursday, 04 September 2014 06:00 PM
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