Mark Alexander Hopkins, also known as Doctor Bitcoin, was detained by the Department of Justice a few weeks ago. Recently Hopkins has pleaded guilty to the charges and facing five years in federal prison. He ran a fiat to cryptocurrency converting service in Texas. A new press release from DOJ posits that Hopkins failed to comply with the federal laws and supported many crypto scams.
The business run by Hoskinson allowed traders from around the world to send him US dollars to be converted into cryptocurrencies. The majority of these transactions were done in Bitcoin. The nature of the business required him to apply for registration with FinCEN. The Financial Crimes Enforcement Network or FinCEN regulates all MSBs.
The DOJ report claims that Hopkin’s business model qualifies as a Money Services Business. The FinCEN punctuates all MSBs to submit detailed reports for any transactions above $2000. This system allows the money regulators to investigate if the money resources are illegal. Hopkins also failed to comply with the mandatory anti-money laundering and know your customer requirements.
DOJ press release has charged Hopkins under one count of operating an unlicensed crypto converter business. The Northern District of Texas court brought forward evidence that indicates that he knowingly aided a Nigerian lottery fraud syndicate. The unidentified individual with an alias M.H. made 37 transactions valued between $1.5 million and $550,000 in a year.
Legal Watchdog Wishes to Drive Out All Threat Actors from the Crypto Sector
The self-proclaimed Doctor Bitcoin was not a newbie who had no idea about the criminal masses that he was serving. His communication with M.H. that has been caught by the federal prosecutors shows that he actively participated and encouraged the con artists to keep sending his money safely. He told the threat actor that he does not want to know about how his customers make their money.
Another conversation between the two criminals reveals that Hopkins also instructed M.H. to send less than $9,500 at a time. It should be noted that all Banks in the United States are bound to report any transactions above $10,000 to IRS. Commenting on the case, Acting US Attorney Prerek Shah stated that the DOJ wants to drive out as many threat actors from Bitcoin markets as possible.