In another incident showcasing USA’s zero-tolerance policy against illegal trading, a LocalBitcoins trader has been charged by the Government of the USA for conducting an unlicensed money transaction business, as reported in a press release on 28 May.
According to the report, Morgan Rockoons, a resident of Las Vegas has been criminally charged for unlicensed money transaction, and a Bitcoin backed real estate Ponzi scam by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of California. Morgan Rockoons conducted more than 1000 unlicensed transactions until the end of 2017. He has now been sentenced to serve a period of 21 months in federal jail.
Morgan had been under the eyes of San Diego’s police force for several years owing to his massive trading numbers. Morgan was also not registered as a money transactor under the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN). After an indictment in November 2017, Morgan was arrested in February.
The arrest didn’t last long, and he got out on bail resorting back to his criminal tendencies with “Bitcointopia,” a cryptocurrency enterprise offering alleged land in exchange for Bitcoin. Users registered on Bitcointopia were scammed and never received the land they were promised. He faced charges again in October 2018 and pleaded guilty to charges of crypto fraud and operating unlicensed money transacting business in March 2019.
All the profits from his fraudulent business, which amounted to over $80,000, will now be forfeited.
Increased Intolerance towards Fraudulent Crypto Activity
Growing intolerance towards fraudulent crypto activity has been rising considerably. In March, the CEO of Cabbage Tech, Patrick McDonnell, was charged for defrauding investors. The company scammed over 10 people of almost $200 000, 4.41 Bitcoin Cash, 206 LTC, 1,342,634 XVG, and 620 ETC. In May, a Ponzi scheme directed by a diamond based cryptocurrency involving over 300 traders and investors from both U.S. and Canada was shut down. Brazil also saw a massive halt of a pyramid scheme that scammed over 55,000 victims.