Bitcoin Laundering on LocalBitcoins Led this Woman to Jail
A LocalBitcoins trader based in Los Angeles was sentenced on Monday to jail for a year and one day after being found guilty of illegal crypto-related transactions.
Theresa Tetley is a former stock-agent and real estate investor established in California. She received besides the prison sentence a fine of $ 20,000 plus 40 Bitcoins worth around $ 300,000 and 25 gold bars, as reported by the U.S. Department of Justice.
“The so-called “Bitcoin Maven,” who admitted to operating an unlicensed bitcoin-for-cash exchange business and laundering bitcoin that was represented to be proceeds of narcotics activity, was sentenced today to 12 months and one day in federal prison, three years of supervised release, and a fine of $20,000,” reported the U.S. Department of Justice on 9th July.
The 50-year-old woman has activated as a crypto merchant on the LocalBitcoins exchange under the name “Bitcoin Maven” from 2014 to 2017, trading millions of dollars over this period.
“According to court documents, Tetley offered bitcoin-for-cash exchange services without registering as a money services business with the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN), and without implementing anti money-laundering mechanisms such as customer due diligence and reporting certain transactions required for these types of businesses,” as reported in the notice.
The sentence is “a victory“
The sentence received by Theresa Tetley is the slightest punishment she could receive as her lawyer sought a judgment for up to a year.
Brian Klein, one of the lawyers, described the sentence as “a victory,” reported LA Times as he has greatly reduced her previous 30-month jail term. “We are pleased the judge made such a dramatic departure,” Klein claimed.
The case involving Theresa Tetley is the first of its kind to be registered within California’s Central District, even though in the past there have been numerous reports of unlawful operations correlated with LocalBitcoins.