A Californian man whose ATM network laundered bitcoin for criminals has been sentenced to two years in prison

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A Californian man whose ATM network laundered bitcoin for criminals has been sentenced to two years in prison
As part of Mohammad's sentencing, the US impounded about $1.25 million worth of bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies.Jakub Porzycki/NurPhoto via Getty Images
  • A man whose company laundered millions in bitcoin and cash has been jailed for two years.
  • Kais Mohammad, who went by the name "Superman29," illegally traded as much as $25 million.
  • Prosecutors have seized all of Mohammad's banking machines, crypto, and cash.

A Californian man who last year pleaded guilty to operating an illegal virtual-currency business has now been sentenced to two years in federal prison, according to the Justice Department.

Kais Mohammad, 37, a former bank employee, who called himself "Superman29," illegally exchanged as much as $25 million through in-person transactions and bitcoin ATM kiosks - some of it for criminals.

As part of his sentencing, the US has impounded about $1.25 million worth of bitcoin and ethereum from Mohammad, Bloomberg reported. Prosecutors have also seized 17 of his ATMs and about $23,000 in cash, according to the Justice Department.

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From December 2014 to November 2019, Mohammad controlled Herocoin, an illicit money-transmitting business. As part of his operation, Mohammad offered bitcoin-cash exchange services, charging commissions of up to 25%, which was well above the market rate.

These bitcoin ATM-type machines allowed customers to use buy the currency using cash, or sell it in exchange for cash that would be distributed through the machines.

Mohammad was able to track all transactions on the ATM machines and identify each transaction that took place on them, which were located in malls, gas stations, and convenience stores in Los Angeles, Orange Riverside, and San Bernardino counties, the Justice Department reported.

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During sentencing, prosecutors wrote: "Rather than use his knowledge to create a robust compliance program, (Mohammad) avoided one altogether and profited by making his business an efficient, unchecked, and nearly anonymous conduit for money laundering and other crimes."

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