A man pleaded guilty to running an unauthorized money transmission company after processing $4 million in digital currencies over two years. The US Department of Justice (DoJ) indicted Brannen Mehaffey a year ago, and he has now committed to paying full compensation to any victims who were directly or proximally damaged by his activities.
Mehaffey is accused of trading digital currencies for cash in person via peer-to-peer sales, as CoinGeek exclusively revealed. He also built up a network of digital asset ATMs and advertised his services on LocalBitcoins and Craigslist, where he charged a premium for his services. According to authorities, Mehaffey didn’t care where the money came from and even had a slogan that read, “What you do with bitcoin is your business and not mine. Please do not speak how you use it.”
Consequently, he found himself executing digital asset transactions for customers who were engaged in illegal activity.
A year later, Mehaffey has admitted guilt to trying to conduct, manage, and instruct an unregistered transmitting company influencing interstate and foreign commerce, to wit, a digital currency exchange business, which didn’t adhere to the money transmitting business regulations.
Mehaffey must forfeit any property that represents or is derived from revenues related to the violation after entering a guilty plea. Assume that this property is no longer available or has been sold. The plea deal, filed in the District Court of Arizona, states that the US government is entitled to seizure replacement property.
The Arizona court agreed not to pursue Mehaffey for any wrongdoing in relation to the peer-to-peer exchange of digital currencies for fiat currency, including any charges arising out of funds deposited by individuals and organizations into the defendant’s bank accounts as part of the plea agreement.
Mehaffey also committed to assisting US officials and disclosing whatever information needed, including financial information and records.