FBI's Legal Action Against 6 Individuals Accused of Operating a $30 Million Crypto-Based Money Transmission Enterprise
In a recent legal development, the FBI has filed charges against six individuals accused of participating in an unlawful cryptocurrency-based money transmission operation estimated at $30 million. This legal action was based on documents submitted in the Southern District of New York. The six individuals implicated in this case, identified as Shaileshkumar Goyani, Brijeshkumar Patel, Hirenkumar Patel, Naineshkumar Patel, Nileshkumar Patel, and Raju Patel, are alleged to have conducted these activities within the state of New York without obtaining the necessary license for money transmission.
Details revealed in the affidavit, which was unsealed to support the issuance of arrest warrants, shed light on their alleged involvement from July 2021 to September 2023. According to these details, the accused individuals are believed to have utilized the darknet to convert various cryptocurrencies, including bitcoin, into traditional fiat currency.
Notably, one of the accused individuals, Naineshkumar Patel, has been granted conditional release under the supervision of a U.S. Magistrate judge, as confirmed by official court documents.
The court filing references an anonymous co-conspirator who disclosed that certain clients involved in this operation generated profits from illicit drug sales, while the most financially successful clients were individuals with expertise in hacking. This co-conspirator even informed an undercover officer that he had accumulated an estimated $30 million over three years by engaging in the exchange of cash for virtual currencies.
Furthermore, on February 7, 2023, law enforcement authorities detained an individual who had been dispatching packages containing cash on behalf of the undisclosed co-conspirator. This individual subsequently became a confidential source and cooperated with law enforcement for an approximately eight-month period, facilitating around 80 controlled cash pick-up operations, with a combined total of roughly $15 million.
The court filing is substantiated by photographic and video surveillance evidence that documents the alleged activities of the accused individuals. It emphasizes that these defendants operated without the required registration and licensing for running a money-transmitting business, a mandatory regulatory requirement within the state of New York.
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