February 9, 2018 the immigration and customs service (ICE), arrested Morgan Romansa (Morgan Rockcoons), CEO of Bitcoin Inc and the investor’s other cryptocurrency startups. According to the information
court, Romans is accused of money laundering and unlicensed management company engaged in remittances.
According to the same data, Racoons, being in southern California, between December 30, 2016 January 8, 2017, allegedly exchanged 10 BTC ($9200 USD at the time) to 14 500 dollars from a police officer who worked undercover. The officer allegedly inform Romans that the cash was obtained from the production and sale of «hashish oil» containing THC — the substance, circulation of which is controlled at the Federal level.
According to the court, Romans knew that the money earned is illegal, but still traded bitcoins on them, making it involved in money laundering. It is also assumed that Recons controls of an unregistered company engaged in money transfers in southern California. All such organizations are required to license their activities at the Agency to combat financial crimes (FinCEN).
An arrest warrant was issued by the Chief judge of the southern district of California 8 November 2017 what he says about the impossibility of the capture of Romanza for three months, presumably because he changed his place of residence.
The standpoint of the accused
At the moment Romans organized a campaign to raise funds to cover legal defence costs in court. The required amount – from 150 000 to 300 000 dollars. In this campaign he expressed his point of view on the events in a series of posts on Twitter and in an interview with industry publication.
He argues that bitcoins, which he sold, «dirty steel» later:
«Someone bought the machine for the production of hemp oil for the BTC that were purchased from me. Probably my fault that I sold bitcoins for cash, especially if the responsibility for what people do with these coins lies on me.»
Romans also noted that the buyer had informed him via text message about plans to use bitcoins for the purchase of «medical equipment». He said that such action cannot be considered illegal, as the purchase of such equipment is not prohibited in California. Romans also noticed that this substance has no relationship to the equipment, because the CBD oil can be extracted from cannabis, and the process has nothing to do with tetrahydrocannabinol».
In General, Romans denies any wrongdoing and does not admit that he was aware of the plans of the buyer. He noted that an undercover COP was on to him through the LocalBitcoins platform. Romans said on Twitter that he had received $9 200 per bitcoin, although court records indicate that the buyer paid him 14 $ 500. The defendant also argues that he received the money in an envelope in the mail and refuses to confirm a personal meeting.
In a series of posts on Twitter after his release from prison on 14 February 2018, Romans describes the charges against him as an attack on bitcoin.
«It’s not only my problem, it’s a battle all the users of bitcoin in the land that don’t want to part with their funds,» he wrote.
The hearing Romanza will be held on 22 February 2018 in the superior court of San Diego, California. Defendant claims that it plans to pay their lawyers with bitcoins.