A U.S. district court has indicted three people behind the now-defunct Geek Group for their roles in running an illegal money transfer business that used Bitcoin to move funds between states. According to the indictments, it was Christopher Allan Boden, then president of the Geek Group, who “sold Bitcoin to numerous customers in exchange for US currency, mostly cash.”
Violation of money transfer laws
The charges against Boden and his accomplices come more than two years after federal law enforcement agencies raided the Michigan-based nonprofit. Immediately after the raid, the Geek Group, which was previously involved in charities, announced the closure of the organization.
Meanwhile, as the indictments show, Boden would receive the BTC from Daniel Reynold Dejager, who lived in Washington. As part of their conspiracy, Dejager “made regular trips to Michigan to meet with Boden”.
According to their practice, Boden, along with Leesa Beth Vogt and others, would “deposit cash received from their customers into a bank account that Dejager had access to.” Alternatively, a transfer of cash would be made to Dejager and Dejager would then “use that currency to buy additional bitcoin”.
However, according to the US prosecution, this regulation did not comply with the relevant laws. In the indictment, prosecutors said:
During the period relevant to this indictment, none of Boden, Vogt, Dejager, and The Geek Group (also known as the National Science Institute) were registered with the US Treasury Department as a money service provider or money transmitter.
In addition, the indictment shows that the “total value of bitcoin sold by Boden and his co-conspirators was more than $ 700,000 in US currency.”
Meanwhile, prosecutors also claim that Boden and Dejager mixed the BTC between 2017 and 2018 “before selling it to customers to hide its origins”. In addition, Boden and his accomplices are accused of extending their services to clients involved in illegal activities. The document states:
(Boden and his accomplices) knowingly conducted and attempted to carry out a financial transaction, namely the sale of Bitcoin for cash, which impacted the interstate or overseas trade in real estate represented by an undercover law enforcement officer for the purpose of revenue from certain illegal activities namely, the distribution of controlled substances in violation of Title 21, United States Code, Section 841.
Meanwhile, the indictments state that after their conviction, Boden and his accomplices “will forfeit a monetary sentence of at least $ 700,000 to the United States”. In addition to the 1.33 BTC, all crypto assets accessed through wallets with two Trezor devices that are at least 0.365 BTC and that were seized on or about December 21, 2018 will expire to the US government.
If either of these remedies fails, “the United States is entitled to loss of replacement property,” the prosecution closes.
How do you feel about these charges against Boden and his colleagues? Let us know what you think in the comments section below.
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