U.S District Court of New Hampshire of the DOJ has found three people guilty of crypto ‘wire fraud’ for opening personal accounts at banks and financial institutions in their names, as well as business accounts in the names of churches, and then transferring control to Ian Freeman in order to sell virtual currency.
As per the court release, the case charged six people, and three out of them have been pled guilty in the recent trials.
Two defendants Renee Spinella and Nobody, a.k.a Richard Paul have admitted that they have opened accounts in the name of Crypto Church of NH and Church of the Invisible Hand respectively.
Following that, they transferred account access to a third-party individual named Ian Freeman, who is also a defendant in this case. Despite the fact that these accounts were utilized for church donations, they were ‘exclusively’ used to support Freeman’s virtual currency exchange business.
While third defendant Andrew Spinella admitted that he opened a personal account and later shared its credential with Ian Freeman to sell virtual currency.
The court said that all defendants were aware of their wrongdoing and that banks would suspend these accounts if the banks knew the accounts were engaged to operate an unlicensed virtual currency business.
“Andrew and Renee Spinella, along with Nobody, confessed to opening and operating bank accounts, using their names or the names of religious organizations, to help their co-defendant run his virtual currency business. They knew it was wrong and they continued their conduct anyway,” said Joseph R. Bonavolonta, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI Boston Division.
Andrew and Renee Spinella will be sentenced by the court on July 26, 2022, to determine their sentences. On the other hand, Nobody, a.k.a. Richard Paul, is set to be sentenced on July 28, 2022.
“By using fraudulent means to mislead banks about the true purpose of these bank accounts, the defendants assisted in the operation of an unlawful virtual currency business” said U.S. Attorney Farley.
In this case many different agencies including the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Internal Revenue Service, and the United States Postal Inspection Service are working together.
Because of the easily traceable digital network, the federal agencies successfully held so many wrongdoers in the crypto space and sent them behind the bars. Recently, Federal prosecutors in New York accused 2 men for defrauding investors of over $1 million by running a “rug pull” scam through the NFT project.