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Two Charged for Operating a Cryptocurrency Exchange Business

A federal grand jury returned a 33-count superseding indictment charging two cryptocurrency exchange operators with money laundering and other financial crimes.

In March 2021, a grand jury returned a 20-count indictment charging Ian Freeman, Colleen Fordham, Renee Spinella, Andrew Spinella, “Nobody” (formerly Richard Paul), and Aria DiMezzo with an assortment of financial crimes related to the operation of a “virtual currency exchange business in violation of federal anti-money laundering laws and regulations, including those requiring money transmitting businesses to meet registration and reporting requirements.”

A picture of Ian Freeman and Aria DiMezzo | The Verge

Ian Freeman and Aria DiMezzo | The Verge

People who have been following cryptocurrencies for a while are probably familiar with Ian Freeman for his activism in the cryptocurrency world and his radio show, Free Talk Live. Freeman is enthusiastic about the same things as Ulbricht (big tent libertarianism). Feds raided him with two BearCat G3s. They also broke a window at his house and flew a drone inside to explore before entering. I think the state violated your NAP. A libertarian nightmare.

A picture of A demonstration of state power.

A demonstration of state power.

Three co-defendants, Nobody F/K/A Richard Paul and Andrew and Renee Spinella have entered guilty pleas. The government moved to dismiss with prejudice the case against Fordham.

The indictment accuses the conspirators of advertising cryptocurrency for sale online through websites including LocalBitcoins.com and operating cryptocurrency ATMs or kiosks. As a part of the conspiracy, Freeman and DiMezzo opened bank accounts in the names of religious entities, including the Shire Free Church, the Crypto Church of N.H., the Church of the Invisible Hand, and the Reformed Satanic Church.

The co-conspirators evaded detection of their so-called “unlawful virtual currency exchange scheme” by misleading banks about the nature of their business. In some cases, the defendants allegedly tricked banks into believing that their cryptocurrency exchange business was a religious organization receiving charitable contributions. Additionally, the defendants would instruct their customers to lie about their cryptocurrency transactions. In some instances, they instructed customers to tell their banks that payments to the defendants were church donations.

A picture of Feds raided the Bitcoin Embassy.

Feds raided the Bitcoin Embassy.

Between May 25, 2016, and March 15, 2021, the defendants exchanged more than $10,000,000 in cryptocurrency for customers throughout the United States.

The superseding indictment charges Freeman and DiMezzo with conspiracy to operate an unlicensed money transmitting business. Freeman also faces the following charges:

  • operating an unlicensed money transmitting business;
  • conspiracy to commit wire and bank fraud;
  • twelve counts of wire fraud;
  • four counts of money laundering;
  • conspiracy to commit money laundering;
  • four counts of attempting to evade taxes;
  • and operating a financial crimes enterprise.

DiMezzo has also been charged with operating an unlicensed money transmitting business, four counts of wire fraud, and three counts of money laundering.

A picture of Feds pulled Bitcoin ATMs out of the floors of businesses.

Feds pulled Bitcoin ATMs out of the floors of businesses.

Freeman allegedly knowingly processed and profited from transactions conducted by fraudsters and scammers, including so-called “romance scams.” “By knowingly permitting defrauded individuals to exchange fiat currency for virtual currency including Bitcoin, FREEMAN and others facilitated the transfer of illicit proceeds to the executors of the illegal scams, while generating revenue for the virtual currency exchange business.”

If convicted, Freeman and DiMezzo must forfeit an extensive portfolio’s worth of cryptocurrency, cash, and metals. For example, the list below contains the items taken from Freeman and ATMs operated by the defendants.

  • 6.124429323 BTC seized from Ian Freeman;
  • 315.44728106 DASH, seized from Ian Freeman;
  • $14,120.00 U.S. Currency seized from Bitcoin ATM, taken from Bitcoin Embassy;
  • $30,980.00 U.S. Currency seized from Campus Convenience Bitcoin ATM;
  • One physical ‘1 BTC’ Casascius Bitcoin seized from Ian Freeman’s safe;
  • One physical ‘100 BTC’ Casascius Bitcoin “gold plated bearer bar” seized from Ian Freeman’s safe;
  • .9999783 BCH from physical ‘1 BTC’ Casascius Bitcoin seized from Ian Freeman’s safe;
  • .99909638 BTC from physical ‘1 BTC’ Casascius Bitcoin seized from Ian Freeman’s safe;
  • 99.99993098 BCH from physical ‘100 BTC’ Casascius Bitcoin seized from Ian Freeman’s safe;
  • 99.99765508 BTC from physical ‘100 BTC’ Casascius Bitcoin seized from Ian Freeman’s safe;
  • Misc. coins and ingots of precious metal seized from Ian Freeman’s safe:
    • U.S. $0.10 silver dime sealed in plastic,
    • OPM sealed 1oz gold bars .999 fine;
    • PAMP sealed 1oz gold bar .999 fine;
    • $1 Liberty dollar warehouse silver receipts 1/20 oz each;
    • $5 Liberty dollar warehouse silver receipts 1/4 oz each;
    • $10 Liberty dollar warehouse silver receipts 1/2 oz each;
    • $20 Liberty dollar warehouse silver receipts;
    • Silver coins 1/2 oz .999 fine;
    • Silver coins 1 oz .999 fine;
    • Silver coins 2 oz .999 fine;
    • Silver coins in plastic cases 1 oz .999 fine;
    • Silver bullet 1 oz .999 fine;
    • Platinum Ron Paul coin 1 oz .999 fine,
    • OPM sealed 1oz gold bars .999 fine;
    • Australian 1 oz gold coin .999 fine;
    • Australian 2 oz silver coin .999 fine;
    • Swiss of American 100 oz silver bar .999 fine;
    • and Copper coins;
  • $179,672.00 U.S. Currency seized from Ian Freeman’s safe;
  • 143 silver coins and one 10-oz silver bar seized from Ian Freeman’s residence;
  • $2,124.00 U.S. Currency seized from Ian Freeman’s residence;
  • $610.00 U.S. Currency seized from Red Apple Diner Bitcoin ATM;
  • $6,680.00 U.S. Currency seized from Murphy’s Taproom Bitcoin ATM;
  • $300.00 U.S. Currency seized from Red Arrow Diner Bitcoin ATM

The government has been complaining about how difficult it is to track down all of Freeman’s assets without Freeman’s assistance. They opposed his pretrial release because he did not tell the probation officer about certain cryptocurrency wallets when asked about his bank accounts. Another issue the government had involved Freeman’s use of specific messaging applications and services.

“The evidence shows that the defendant used encrypted messaging apps like Telegram to communicate with the people to whom he was selling his bitcoin. These encrypted messaging apps make it impossible to keep tabs on what the defendant is doing and who he is communicating with without proper monitoring conditions in place.”

Two Keene Residents Charged In Superseding Indictment With Additional Charges Related to Virtual Currency Exchange Business archive.is, onion, justice.gov.

Superseding indictment (pdf)


A picture of Perhaps Freeman can be thankful the FBI’s Hostage Rescue Team was not involved?

Perhaps Freeman can be thankful the FBI’s Hostage Rescue Team was not involved?

12 Comments
Do you really want to comment here? not rules
dfb61d9d
309dc270 Wed, Apr 27, 2022

the fuck this? One physical ‘100 BTC’ Casascius Bitcoin “gold plated bearer bar” seized from Ian Freeman’s safe;

ca5f8822
5b24cb50 Wed, Apr 27, 2022

“The evidence shows that the defendant used encrypted messaging apps like Telegram to communicate with the people to whom he was selling his bitcoin. These encrypted messaging apps make it impossible to keep tabs on what the defendant is doing and who he is communicating with without proper monitoring conditions in place.”

these feds think we gon believe telegram safe lmao fuck dat shit

ffab132c
8dcd4090 Thu, Apr 28, 2022

They should have seen this comming. Most if not all crypto operators before regulation better start burning house and moving to Belaruse.
I do wonder, what is the government going to do with all those coins?

d9026794
13308030 Thu, Apr 28, 2022

Imagine being stupid enough to do this idiocy in the usa or the eu. I am not in favor of doing businesses like these, but really they didn’t just move to nicaragua or something?

Literally anywhere else other than the usa, canada, and the eu and some select nations (like china or russia) would have been better.

Why not move someplace where the people are too tech illiterate to actually do this?

I will never understand why people do crimes in the 1st world, you only get caught and its really hard.

also telegram glows in the dark.

f49d08d3
958585e0 Thu, Apr 28, 2022

Imagine being stupid enough to get crypto seized by feds. I guess they never heard about full disk encryption, zero-knowledge cloud services etc. LMAO this is so sad

2cb9ba3a
09500510 Sun, May 1, 2022

Running a business that makes money by skimming a percentage off bitcoin purchases, the overwhelming majority of which are intended for dark net transactions, would be better in any country other than the ones where an overwhelming majority of dark net transactions occur. Right.

1e413a0a
57c25610 Thu, Apr 28, 2022

I admit, I did not know of Ian Freeman (nee Bernard) from New Hampshire (former resident of Florida) who proclaims to be an advocate of sorts for a litany of causes, such as the Free State movement (“NH-Exit”), Local any-such coin (localbitcoins, etc), child pederasty (moreso an ex-con and click-bait v-tuber show), and the gay. Among so many other noble causes, such as a Senatorial race in 2018, a repeatedly caught narco “Nobody” buddy as a town mayor of Keene (reads: a imbecile of imbeciles no good for any body), and the list continues. Indeed, the more I dig into what hasn’t been scrubbed by Ian Bernard and his merry gang of gay-ops-pederast-coin-free-“man”-vexatious-grift-du-jour crew, the more I wonder -when- the entirety of New Hampshire’s citizenry will resort to open collusion to remove him from the State.

Oh. Right. That may, in fact, be happening.

92de4efc
954947c0 Thu, Apr 28, 2022

LOL. Yet another cop. This site has to be one of the biggest shitholes in the honeypot network.

9f3dd75f
541c1ab0 Thu, Apr 28, 2022

this must be the strangest comment I have ever read. It just seems fake, like a bot wrote it. The use of slang is wrong, the overly complex stringing of said slang, the topic literally nobody cares about.

it all just glows, this is either a bot or a fed who is like 70 or something.

44ad69de
c1184b40 Fri, Apr 29, 2022

Because of what Bernard the Perpetually Stupid Literal Genetic Interstate Jew has done: Every last coin, every last dollar, every last account, and every last sale thereof that Bernard touched will glow forever. Bernard might as well have been the FBI, for he repeatedly fucked up that badly, that many times. Bernard glowed the exact same as the FBI. No need for honeypots; No need for honeybots; No need for fake any thing at all: Bernard did it for them. All of them. With the worst opsec I’ve every dug into. Bernard’s only saving grace is he jewed so hard he took down of a gang of hair dyed actual trannies and faggots trying to take over the town of Keene. Too bad the takedown was by accident.

97acb39d
6c675bf0 Fri, Apr 29, 2022

ORDER DETAILS:

    • Order 1
      Country: FR->SC
      Regarding: Ransomware
      Type: Metadata
      Accounts: 1
      Signed: 2021-05-17
      Received: 2021-10-18
      Responded (not received): 2021-10-19
      Responded (received): 2022-02-21
    • Order 2
      Country: FR->SC
      Regarding: Ransomware
      Type: Metadata
      Accounts: 4
      Signed: 2021-08-30
      Received: 2022-03-02
      Responded: 2022-03-05

Enjoy!

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