A man has been charged with bitcoin money laundering crimes in the state of New York. Thomas Spieker – a former party producer – worked with several illicit and dark web clients, many of whom were hackers, drug pushers, and mobsters to hide their illicit gains through cryptocurrency.
Thomas Spieker Charged with Crypto Money Laundering
It is believed that Spieker laundered as much as $2.3 million worth of bitcoin, the world’s number one digital currency, for several clients around the world between 2018 and 2021. He has also been accused of converting as much as $380,000 worth of crypto funds into fiat. At the time of writing, Spieker has pleaded not guilty and has been released on his own recognizance.
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In addition to Spieker, several other men have been charged including 30-year-old Zashan Khan and 25-year-old Cosmas Siekierski. Both men are accused of selling drugs over the dark web and operating illegal markets. Anderson LaRoc is also a 33-year-old hacker who allegedly targeted victims as part of an international identity theft scam, while Dustin Sites – also 33 years of age – has been charged with helping Spiker open bank and crypto accounts for the purpose of laundering funds.
Alvin Bragg – the Manhattan district attorney overseeing the case – commented in an interview:
This sprawling web of international money laundering helped drug traffickers, an organized crime ring, and scammers hide their criminal activity and transmit their proceeds around the globe.
Spieker has allegedly been a bitcoin and crypto fan since their earliest days. In 2014, he was written about in a VICE article that discussed his days working as a DJ under the name SICK. At the time, he was using bitcoin on a regular basis to finance his dance parties in Brooklyn. He claims – according to social media posts – to have hosted parties attended by A$AP Rocky, Death Grips, and DJ Rashad.
Things may have started off innocently, but according to federal prosecutors, it looks like at some point, Spieker took his love of bitcoin a little too far and fell off the deep end. In early 2018, he began advertising his money laundering services to those who were looking to “STAY COMPLETELY OFF THE RADAR,” according to memos and documentation released about his past.
Crime Continues to Hurt the BTC Space
Between March 2018 and June 2020, it is believed that he and his alleged associate Sites opened as many as 29 separate bank accounts along with eight different crypto exchange accounts. Depending on the amounts of money clients were looking to launder, his fee ranged from anywhere between four and 12 percent.
One of the big things that continues to mar the cryptocurrency world is the high level of crime that appears attached to it. Recently, the BBB issued a report saying that crypto scams were now the second most dangerous and prominent types of scams in the world.
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