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Federal law enforcement officials have arrested the CEO of a Bitcoin exchange platform and an alleged co-conspirator in connection with Silk Road, the online black market for drugs.
The two face charges of conspiring to commit money laundering and operating an unlicensed money transmitting business. Shrem is also charged with failing to report suspicious activity. There's a New Dread Pirate Roberts. Attorney Preet Bharara said in a statement. Federal officials said they nabbed Shrem on Sunday at John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York.
They picked up Faiella at his home in Cape Coral, Fla. Investigators say Faiella charged Silk Road users a fee to sell them Bitcoin anonymously from December to October Faiella allegedly filled the orders through Shrem's Bitcoin company, which was based in New York.
Though Faiella was the one who allegedly had a vendor profile on Silk Road, investigators say Shrem is also culpable for knowingly facilitating the crimes. They determined Shrem knew that illegal activity was taking place by subpoenaing extensive email exchanges between the two.
The criminal complaint filed against them describes Shrem's role as follows:. Not only did Shrem knowlingly allow Faiella to use [Shrem's] company's services to buy Bitcoins for his Silk Road customers, he personally processed Faiella's transactions, gave Faiella discounts on his high-volume orders, willfully failed to file suspicious activity reports about Faiella, and deliberately helped Faiella circumvent the company's [anti-money laundering] restrictions, even though it was Shrem's job to enforce them.
Mashable interviewed Shrem about his startup last year. Later, he attracted high-profile investors such as Tyler and Cameron Winklevoss, the Harvard twins who claim Mark Zuckerberg stole their idea when he invented Facebook. As it turns out, Shrem may have even been a Silk Road customer. After receiving a shipment of marijuana brownies, Shrem wrote, "wow, Silk Road actually works," in an online chat with an unnamed individual, according to the criminal complaint.
About a month after the Feds shuttered the original Silk Road, a new online black market bearing the same name and likeness launched. The new Silk Road, commonly referred to as "Silk Road 2.
At time of publishing, BitInstant 's website was down, though it did not display any kind of takedown notice like the FBI's posting after it seized Silk Road. Embedded below is the criminal complaint against them. Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss provided the following statement on Shrem's arrest to Mashable and other news organizations.
When we invested in BitInstant in the fall of , its management made a commitment to us that they would abide by all applicable laws - including money laundering laws - and we expected nothing less. We were passive investors in BitInstant and will do everything we can to help law enforcement officials.
We fully support any and all governmental efforts to ensure that money laundering requirements are enforced, and look forward to clearer regulation being implemented on the purchase and sale of bitcoins. We're using cookies to improve your experience.
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