New York man indicted on charges of running “cash to-Bitcoin” money laundering scheme. He openly boasted about it on social media and told clients that he could help them get “completely off the radar”.
Thomas Spieker (42), converted more than $2.3million into Bitcoin, and more than $380,000 into Bitcoin to launder criminal proceeds, Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg stated Thursday in a statement.
Bragg stated that the case in Manhattan state court “shows us how technology like cryptocurrency can be key drivers of a wide range of criminal activities that can easily span across borders.”
Spieker searched Google repeatedly for “bitcoin money laundering” and found articles about people who had been convicted of laundering Bitcoin. This included Manhattan cases in the past, according to prosecutors. Spieker allegedly told a friend that most customers were “credit card hustles” and that one client was a “skittish K[etamine] seller.”
Prosecutors claim that Spieker opened corrupt accounts with banks or cryptocurrency exchanges using a “rotating group of accomplices”. Bragg claims that the scheme enabled at least seven clients to hide proceeds from a wide range of criminal activities, including drug trafficking.
District attorney stated that “a sprawling web of international cash laundering helped drug traffickers and organized crime rings hide their criminal activities and transmit their proceeds across the globe.”
Spieker’s clients were also accused of a range of crimes including running an illegal dark web drug market. According to the statement, they manufactured and sold MDMA and ketamine in all 50 states. Prosecutors said that other clients were also charged with “SIM-swapping,” an identity theft scheme that targeted 30 victims in the U.S.