U.S. Capital

Money Laundering, a White Collar Crime, Needs a Good Criminal Defense Attorney

May 14, 2014

Lakeland, FL (Law Firm Newswire) May 14, 2014 – This interesting case is the first of its kind involving Bitcoin virtual currency.

“Recently two Florida men were arrested in Miami-Dade for using Bitcoin virtual currency in an alleged money laundering scheme. The charges for this case, which I am not involved in, are allegedly engaging in an unlicensed money servicing business and money laundering. Thirty-year-old Abner Espinoza and 28-year-old Pascal Reid remain in custodial care,” indicated Thomas Grajek, a Lakeland criminal defense attorney.

The unusual aspect of this case involves the use of Bitcoins, adding a new twist to the old crime of money laundering. These days Bitcoins are being used to buy a number of things legitimately, but they are also apparently being tested for use in drug circles for buying and selling transactions. This case may turn out to be one of the first Florida state prosecutions involving money laundering with the surrogate money.

This is not the first time Satoshi Nakamoto’s Bitcoin has run afoul of the law, despite their urging that coin users remain in compliance with local laws. In New York, federal prosecutors have filed multiple charges linked to Bitcoin against the “Dread Pirate Roberts” aka Ross William Ulbricht. Ulbricht was arrested and charged with allegedly operating the Silk Road website, a drug website where buyers used Bitcoin to initiate and complete transactions. The man goes to court in November 2014.

This case came to the attention of Miami police officers that were tipped off about a number of individuals dealing in high volume Bitcoin activity. Officers explain that buying Bitcoins lets real money move anonymously globally in the blink of an eye. When Bitcoins are used as they are intended to be used, they are a viable alternative to transferring actual cash. However, Bitcoins are seen by many as a way to launder dirty money or to buy and sell illegal goods, including stolen credit card information.

Despite the fact that prosecutors in New York seem to have an overwhelming amount of evidence against Ulbricht, the same may not be the case locally. “This is a difficult crime to prosecute because typically cases like this take a long time making their way through the courts. Anyone charged with such an offense needs to discuss their case with a competent criminal defense attorney. There are so many loopholes in cases like this that an accused needs assistance to navigate the legal maze they are facing,” adds Grajek.

Learn more at http://www.flcrimedefense.com/

Thomas C. Grajek
206 Easton Drive, Suite 102
Lakeland, FL 33803
Phone: 863.688.4606

View Larger Map

  • Florida State Quarterback Winston cited for Petit Theft for allegedly stealing crab legs at Publix.
    Another sports figure in trouble with the law.  This time it is FSU quarterback and Heisman trophy winner Jameis Winston who was “cited” for shoplifting at Publix.  This incident was allegedly captured on video. The quarterback later allegedly made a statement admitting that he made a mistake and was sorry for his actions. What does it mean to be “cited”?  Many people (usually those that are not Florida State fans) are wondering why he wasn’t arrested and booked into the jail.  The majority of the time a suspect is accused of shoplifting, they are NOT arrested, but instead are issued […]
  • Tampa radio personality arrested for solicitation for prostitution which carries mandatory $5,000.00 "civil penalty" unless criminal charge is dismissed
    This time it was the Tampa Police Department running a prostitution sting in response to neighborhood complaints about prostitution in the area.  A local radio personality was arrested in the sting Tuesday night on a charge of unlawful acts as a precursor to prostitution. “Galvin” one of the stars of the Mike Calta Show on 102.5 The Bone was arrested in the sting operation. TPD officers alleged that “Galvin” circled the block at least two times and then attempted to negotiate a prostitution deal with what turned out to be an undercover police officer.  During this conversation, “Galvin” allegedly asked the undercover […]
  • Florida speed limits to be raised? Gov. Scott just needs to sign the bill.
    Could the speed limit on some of Florida’s highways be raised in the near future?  That is a very real possibility now as the Florida House narrowly passed the bill to raise the limit by only 2 votes.  If the bill is passed it does not mean that speed limits will be raised at all.  before the speed limit can be raised on one of Florida’s main highways, state traffic engineers would have to first determine whether the roadway is safe enough for a higher speed. Current law allows for 70 mph on interstates, 65 mph for highways with a divided […]