bitcoin money laundering case underway in Florida

Two defendants in Florida are being accused of money laundering, involving exchanging cash funds for the cryptocurrency.

Published Wed, Apr 9 2014 5:00 PM CDT   |   Updated Tue, Nov 3 2020 12:17 PM CST

There is a legal case in Florida that could set an important precedent in the United States: how criminal law can deal with bitcoins and other forms of cryptocurrency being used by criminals to commit money laundering.

bitcoin money laundering case underway in Florida |

Two men, described as bitcoin "enthusiasts," were arrested trying to purchase bitcoins with money related to the Target malware hacking breach, according to the US Secret Service and Miami Beach Police Department.

Pascal Reid, 29, and Michell Espinoza, 30, face up to 25 years in prison if they are convicted of money laundering and for running an unlicensed money service business. The first transactions started around $500, but progressed up to a proposed $30,000 cash-for-bitcoin swap, according to federal investigators.

"Ice cold money. Ice cold cash. Right out of the freezer," undercover agents said during the sting. After Reid received the bag of money, the undercover agent gave a go sign for officers to come in and make an arrest: "We're cooking with gas."

Earlier in the year, Former BitInstant CEO Charlie Shrem was charged with conspiracy to commit money laundering, allegedly funneling funds for Silk Road.

An experienced tech journalist and marketing specialist, Michael joins TweakTown looking to cover everything from consumer electronics to enterprise cloud technology. A former Staff Writer at DailyTech, Michael is now the West Coast News Editor and will contribute news stories on a daily basis. In addition to contributing here, Michael also runs his own tech blog,, while he looks to remain busy in the tech world.

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