Threat Management

Florida Bitcoin arrests could be first prosecuted in state history

Two Florida-based men were arrested last week for allegedly using Bitcoins in a money laundering scheme. This could be the first case in which Bitcoin vendors are prosecuted under state anti-money laundering laws.

Undercover police officers targeted the two men, Pascal Reid and Michel Abner Espinoza, because they were conducting large Bitcoin deals. For instance, in February, Reid sold a Secret Service agent $25,000 worth of Bitcoins, according to Bloomberg News.

Earlier in the year, Secret Service agents told the men they planned to use the digital currency to purchase stolen credit card numbers and bought $1,500 worth of currency from each man.

Florida's law against unlicensed money transmitters prohibits “currency or payment instruments exceeding $300 but less than $20,000 in any 12-month period.” Florida's anti-money laundering statues prohibits the trade or business in currency of more than $10,000.

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