Localbitcoins User Pleads Guilty to Operating Crypto Business Without a License – Faces Up to 5 Years in Prison


A cryptocurrency trader has been convicted in the US of operating an unlicensed money transfer business using Localbitcoins and Paxful. He faces up to five years in federal prison and a possible maximum fine of $250,000. Crypto Trader Pleads Guilty The US Department of Justice (DOJ) continues to crack down on crypto traders who use services like […]

Localbitcoins User Pleads Guilty to Operating Crypto Business Without a License – Faces Up to 5 Years in Prison

A cryptocurrency trader has been convicted in the US of operating an unlicensed money transfer business using Localbitcoins and Paxful. He faces up to five years in federal prison and a possible maximum fine of $250,000.

Crypto Trader Pleads Guilty


The US Department of Justice (DOJ) continues to crack down on crypto traders who use services like Localbitcoins and Paxful to buy and sell crypto as an unlicensed business. The latest such case involved Hien Ngoc Vo, a 49-year-old man from Seattle, Washington, who operated an unlicensed cryptocurrency business in Houston, Texas.

The DOJ announced Wednesday that Vo pleaded guilty to operating an unlicensed money transfer business in the Houston area between March 16 and June 8, 2016. The Justice Department detailed:

Vo used Paxful and Localbitcoins to buy and sell bitcoin… He profited from sales by charging a percentage of transactions ranging from 5-30%.


Within the specified three months, Vo’s unlicensed business received and transmitted approximately $515,147.19 in BTC, the Justice Department described, adding that customers paid him in cash, direct bank deposits, American Express credit cards, Amazon and generic gift cards.

However, “During the transactions, Vo did not ask customers for any type of identification or the purpose for which they were buying the cryptocurrency,” the Justice Department noted.

Noting that Vo can remain on bond pending sentencing on September 5, the Justice Department concluded:

Vo faces up to five years in federal prison and a possible maximum fine of $250,000.


What do you think about this case? Let us know in the comments section.


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