In New York, a Bitcoin ATM operator was charged with operating an illegal company “marketed toward those involved in a criminal activity.” “Robert Taylor reportedly went to considerable measures to make his bitcoin kiosk business as secret as possible in order to recruit a clientele willing to pay top money for anonymity,” the prosecutor said.
Charges have been filed against the Operator of 46 Bitcoin ATMs
Robert Taylor was indicted by Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg Jr. for “running an illegal Bitcoin ATM company that he marketed towards individuals engaged in criminal activities.”
According to the announcement:
Taylor had bitcoin kiosks in at least 46 sites in New York City, the majority of which were laundromats, as well as in New Jersey and Miami.
The 35-year-old “changed more than $5.6 million of his customers’ cash into bitcoin while charging a fee of between 10% and 20% between 2017 and 2018,” according to the district attorney.
“Multiple counts of operating an unregistered money transmission business, criminal tax fraud in the third degree, and offering a fraudulent document for filing in the first degree,” according to Taylor’s charges.
“Robert Taylor allegedly went to great lengths to keep his Bitcoin kiosk business as secret as possible in order to attract a clientele that would pay top dollar for anonymity,” Bragg explained, adding, “Robert Taylor allegedly went to great lengths to keep his bitcoin kiosk business as secret as possible to attract a clientele that would pay top dollar for anonymity.”
As the use of cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin grows, they continue to attract a wide range of criminals attempting to avoid detection.
The announcement goes on to say:
The search warrants resulted in the recovery of $250,000 in cash, as well as 20 bitcoin ATMs containing $44,000 in cash, from Taylor’s apartment.
Between September 2017 and November 2018, more than $5.6 million in cash was deposited into Taylor’s Bitcoin ATMs, according to a forensic investigation. Fees were more than $590,000, with around $160,000 paid into Taylor’s personal bank accounts.
Taylor, on the other hand, only declared a $3,000 profit on his 2017 tax filings and a $140,000 loss on his 2018 tax returns.
In addition, the New York State Department of Financial Services did not issue him a money transmission license or a virtual currency company license (Bitlicense) (DFS). It is also not licensed by the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network of the United States Department of Treasury (FinCEN).
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