Operators of a couple of exchanges for the virtual currency Bitcoin have been arrested over in the US. According to the Department of Justice, Robert Faiella, also known as BTCKing, as well as Charlie Shrem from BitInstant.com (the website is now defunct), are now facing charges of money laundering. According to the authorities, the two of them are part of a scheme which attempted to sell over $1 million in Bitcoins to users of Silk Road, which happens to be an online drug marketplace. The site itself was already shut down last year with its alleged owner arrested to boot.
Mr Shrem, who is just a young 24, was arrested just yesterday at New York’s JFK airport, with a court appearance tipped to happen on Monday, according to prosecutors. New York’s state banking regulator, Benjamin Lawsky, shared, “There are always going to be bad apples in any industry.” As for Mr Faiella, who is 52, he was arrested earlier today at his home in Cape Coral, Florida. Mr Shrem has been accused of letting Mr Faiella make use of BitInstant to purchase large quantities of Bitcoins before selling them to Silk Road users who wanted to purchase drugs anonymously.
Bitcoin has fallen under the spotlight recently, being banned in certain areas as well, although there are arguments to both sides of the (Bit)coin.
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