Bitcoin Criminal Defense Lawyer

Bitcoin Case

As Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies become more popular, they also attract attention from law enforcement and regulatory agencies. Here’s what you need to know about the latest developments in Bitcoin criminal cases.

Current Enforcement Actions

In recent months, authorities across the United States, including Texas, have taken significant actions against various alleged cryptocurrency violations, including the following:

  • Binance and Its CEO’s Guilty Plea: On November 21, 2023, Binance, the world’s largest crypto exchange, and its CEO pleaded guilty to federal charges of multiple violations of the Bank Secrecy Act, agreeing to pay over $4 billion.
  • FTX Hack and Charges: Federal prosecutors charged three individuals last month for their alleged roles in a hacking incident that led to the theft of more than $400 million from the cryptocurrency exchange FTX.
  • HyperFund Cryptocurrency Fraud Charges: The Department of Justice announced that it has criminally charged two individuals and secured a guilty plea from a third in a $1.9 billion alleged cryptocurrency fraud plot known as HyperFund.
  • SEC Enforcement Actions: On February 7, 2024, the SEC charged TradeStation Crypto, Inc. with failing to register a crypto lending product, leading to a $1.5 million penalty. On February 2, 2024, Brian Sewell and his company settled SEC charges related to a plot that allegedly defrauded students of $1.2 million through an online crypto trading course.
  • Texas Action Against GS Partners: On November 16, 2023, the Texas State Securities Board filed an emergency action against GS Partners. The action alleges an attempt to raise $175 million through a cryptocurrency plot offering tokenized ownership in a skyscraper.

Legal Complexities Involved in Bitcoin Criminal Cases

The following types of criminal charges are sometimes associated with Bitcoin:

  • Money Laundering (18 U.S.C. § 1956): Money laundering is the attempt to make illegal gains look legal by moving them through various transactions or financial systems.
  • Securities Fraud (18 U.S.C. § 1348): Securities fraud involves deceiving investors or manipulating financial markets related to stocks, bonds, or unregistered securities, often to make a profit.
  • Wire Fraud (18 U.S.C. § 1343): Wire fraud is the use of electronic communications or an internet connection to carry out a plan to defraud another person or entity of money or property.
  • Tax Evasion (26 U.S.C. § 7201): Tax evasion involves deliberately avoiding paying taxes owed to the government by not reporting income, reporting expenses or deductions not legally allowed, or not paying taxes due.
  • Cryptocurrency Theft (10 U.S.C. § 921): Cryptocurrency theft involves illegally accessing and transferring someone else’s digital assets, like Bitcoin, without their permission.

Bitcoin and other digital currencies that leverage cutting-edge blockchain technology often outpace existing regulations, creating gray areas in the law. Bitcoin criminal cases present unique challenges due to the evolving nature of cryptocurrency laws and technologies. Cryptocurrencies don’t fit neatly into the category of securities, complicating how and when various legal standards apply. The anonymity that cryptocurrencies offer also makes tracking and proving transactions tied to alleged crimes more complex in state and federal investigations.

Do You Suspect You Are Being Investigated for Cryptocurrency Crimes? Contact Our Criminal Defense Firm

If you’re facing Bitcoin-related charges and need solid legal representation, reach out to the Bitcoin criminal defense team at Broden & Mickelsen, LLP for a confidential consultation. Our team has over 60 years of combined criminal defense experience and a strong track record of success defending clients charged with federal and state crimes. We offer comprehensive representation at both the trial and appellate levels. Contact us today to take advantage of a free case consultation.