By CCN Markets: One of the reasons governments have been against the adoption of bitcoin is because of its potential to be misused for illegal activities such as money laundering, and the latest report from Los Angeles, California, will give the detractors more fodder.
A Los Angeles man has agreed to plead guilty to running a $25 million money laundering operation whose clients included darknet drug dealers. https://t.co/hLayyrzq44
— NBC Los Angeles (@NBCLA) August 24, 2019
Kunal Kalra has decided to plead guilty in Los Angeles for distributing methamphetamine and running a $25 million money laundering scheme tha involved selling bitcoin to people without demanding any identification,as reported by the Associated Press (via NBC Los Angeles).
A tale of drugs, bitcoin, and criminals
The 25-year old Kalra admitted that he exchanged dollars for bitcoin tokens for a period of two years between 2015 and 2017. He said that he carried out this operation of exchanging bitcoin and dollars on behalf of criminals and drug dealers.
What’s more, Kalra also admitted that he was selling bitcoin in exchange for cash, and vice versa, through a kiosk that didn’t require identification from customers. The man is already facing charges for laundering money in Texas.
Laundering cases are on the rise
There have been numerous reports on bitcoin laundering already this year.
In April, two New Yorkers were convicted in a $3 million bitcoin laundering scam. They admitted to selling steroids and controlled substances, receiving payment primarily in the form of bitcoin.
This came close on the heels of a $2.3 million laundering case wherein the Manhattan DA indicted three men for using debit cards pre-loaded with bitcoin and using them to take out huge amounts of cash from ATMs located in New Jersey and New York.
Kalra’s case is far bigger than both of these, indicating the big size of the scam he was running. He was reportedly busted when he tried selling two pounds of meth to an undercover police officer, and now faces life in prison.