Mark Hopkins has been found guilty of managing an unlicensed crypto-based money transfer business.
In a statement released by the U.S. Department of Justice, it found sufficient evidence that Hopkins, who hails from Texas, has profited from converting U.S. dollars into bitcoins for free.
His business’ conversion transactions, according to the DOJ, aren’t conducting important precautionary measures such as checking the source of cash and implementing KYC protocols.
The DOJ also claimed that Hopkins admitted in court that his money transmitting business doesn’t have any proper licenses and wasn’t registered at the Department of Treasury.
Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN), a federal agency under the Department of Treasury, is the agency tasked to regulate money services businesses like what Hopkins was operating.
Hopkin’s money transfer business has failed to meet the strict requirements of FinCEN such as developing an anti-money laundering program and submitting Suspicious Activity Reports for financial transactions above $2,000.
Aiding illegal activities
The DOJ also said that in 2019, Hopkins was reported to aid a man, through his money transfer business, in converting funds that came from a Nigerian lottery scam.
Allegedly, Hopkins helped the man, with the name “MH” by giving him exact instructions on how to avoid financial regulators like advising him to deposit below $9,500 and misrepresenting the deal between them.
According to the results of the investigation, Hopkins has helped the man convert a total of $1.5 million through 37 illegal transactions. Because of his actions that have directly violated a lot of laws, especially the ones related to money, Hopkins was sentenced by the Department of Justice to five years behind bars.
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