Man Pleads Guilty to Running an Illegal Cryptocurrency Exchange Business

~2 min read | Published on 2023-09-07, tagged BitcoinCryptocurrencyMoney-LaunderingPleaded-Guilty using 378 words.

A California man admitted to helping fraudsters and drug dealers launder funds he knew were from illegal sources by anonymously exchanging Bitcoin for cash.

Charles James Randol, 33, admitted that from October 2017 to July 2021, he operated a virtual currency for cash business known as "Bitcoins4Less," and later "Digital Coin Strategies." He provided bitcoin for cash and vice versa for a fee.
Randol failed to maintain an effective AML program for his business and allowed individuals to anonymously launder millions of dollars. The business was directly linked to a fraud scheme that saw an elderly victim lose over $1 million in savings and retirement funds.
Randol marketed his services through ads on various platforms including, LocalBitcoins, and through a website he had created for the business.
To provide the services, Randol ran a series of Bitcoin ATMs that allowed his clients to conduct transactions without restrictions. He also met his customers for in-person transactions or had cash mailed to post office boxes under his control.
As disclosed in his plea agreement, the investigators established that between June 2018 and early 2020, Randol received dozens of packages containing a total of approximately $1,147,500 mailed to addresses under his control by a victim of a fraud scheme. After receiving the cash, Randol sent Bitcoin to addresses provided by the fraudsters.
At the Bitcoin ATMs, he allowed his customers to structure their transactions to avoid reporting requirements. He also allowed his customers to conduct transactions through test accounts that did not contain any customer information.
Randol hired a compliance officer in September 2020. The officer advised him to stop the use of test accounts at the ATMs and to stop engaging in in-person cash transactions, but he did not comply.
Between October 2020 and January 2021, Randol engaged in three in-person transactions with an undercover FBI agent. In the transactions, he gave the FBI agent a total of $273,940 in cash for Bitcoin and kept a four percent fee.
In all the transactions with the agent, Randol did not ask for any identifying information or information regarding the source of the funds he exchanged.
On September 9, 2023, Randol agreed to plead guilty to one count of failure to maintain an effective anti-money laundering (AML) program. He faces a maximum sentence of five years in federal prison.

Comments (22)

Please fuck my ass2023-09-09

Rest in peace brother. Much love to this guardian of freedom. Please someone set up a go fund me for this here’s. Id donate


It is unlikely for him to be convicted of this crime since the US Government says Bitcoin (and gold) are not money. Entering the USA by car with $10,001 in cash without declaring it is illegal but you can have unlimited gold without declaring it since gold "has no monetary value" under US law and CBP policies.


Same thing with watches. Last time I wore 500K richard mille watch and they had no problems. On the other hand last time I traveled with 3 phones to South America and they thought I'm trying to smuggle in devices to sell without sales tax, what a bs. Still South America > North America


Were it so easy... You know the USA is known to literally steal it's citizens' gold even when they never move it to the USA? [Executive Order 10905 & 11037 for example]. Same with FATCA and the fact that the USA literally holds people citizens against their will with absurdly high renounciation fees... Wake up, Paypig - you are only valuable as source of tax, nothing more!


loool unlikely to be convicted? How old are you? I'm guessing you must be about 16.


@JoeMamma What do you think happens after you bring the prosecutor some meth? You bring the criminals through the front, they let them out the back, and the meth gets resold. You would not have a job if they actually sent everyone to prison. Make a list of everyone you arrest and look them up in three months to see most are free with dropped charges or suspended sentences. hahahahahaha!


Dude he pled guilty that means he admitted to the facts contained within the indictment its over the he admitted fault. I do agree with you about how bitcoin is sold but its about the cash. They got the grams owner the same way.

Anonymous1759 @ tgra2023-09-09

oh wow that's crazy. right vendor is

Rudy the cmmenter2023-09-10

The question should be whteher the victim of a fraud scheme who mailed cash tried to launder money! Also the Bitcoin shuld be sent the individual who sent the cash. And not to Nigeria or Undercover Cops.


if you scam old people youre a piece of shit


I think so too. Even though I run a Tor relay for freedom and right to privacy.


That was Epic


Took steps to protect himself by hiring compliance officer but greed and stupidity got him in the end.


yup. why pay for an expert opinion and then ignore the advice


FUCK THIS! The whole point of a decentralized currency is in the goddamn name. Your money is nobody else's business (don't steal, but that's on whoever stole it). Who the fuck could blame someone for going to this American freedom fighter? Paying a 4% Vig no questions asked with as much cash as you want swap. Compared to scanning your ID to open an account, going to a Coinstar machine, paying an 11% Vig, with $2500 daily limits. Fuck regulations. Fuck the government; which takes a Vig on everything by the way (taxes). We all should be able to walk into any bank with as much cash as you care to bring and say, "Here's my money (could be a $100 could be $250,000), thanks for keeping it safe for me. I might bring more, I might come take it out." Just like every U.S. bank was happy to do until 1970, when money laundering was born. If you got cash stack it, if you got gold/silver etc stack it, if you got BTC get it the fuck out of an exchange onto a hard drive & stack it!


I have a solution for you. Go to Dubai !

Free money2023-11-21

You are right. It is crazy to watch as crypto industry gave up the very reason crypto was invented! What is the point to have crypto if it serves underdog for thse fascists?


Why haven't the feds arrested all the banks gambling with customer funds? Because they're gambling in the government casino? Criminal Conspiracy


Because banks are too big to fail. I thought everyone knew that.


>failure to maintain an effective anti-money laundering program the absolute fucking hilarity of this coming from the US fed government.

How sm i2023-09-27

Need some money help

Drak sasi2023-10-04

oh wow that's crazy.