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Man Faces 14 Months for Illegally Exchanging Bitcoin for Cash

A 46-year-old from Zwolle, Netherlands, laundered money for suspected criminals by anonymously exchanging Bitcoin for cash. In court, the prosecution pushed the court to sentence the defendant to 14 months in prison and two years of probation.

The defendant faces charges for money laundering, possession of counterfeit money, possession of multiple illegal substances, and possession of pepper spray.

In court, the prosecutor said the defendant had given his customers the ability to exchange cryptocurrency anonymously for a commission of 16 percent. “Why did so much pay and travel so far–something his customers did–for actions that could be arranged with a smartphone or computer within hours and with a commission of two to three percent,” an officer said in court. “[There is only one reason for this]: those customers do not want to be traceable.” Investigators have evidence that at least one of the defendant’s customers had violated drug laws: police found more than 30 kilograms of drugs in one of the customer’s houses.

The prosecutor said the defendant had advertised his services under a pseudonym through a website that protected his identity. Investigators have a list of the defendant’s 15 most recent transactions (38,000 euros transacted in total). “We don’t know if this is the total size or just the tip of the iceberg. There is nothing to be found on paper,” the officer said.