25-Year-Old Might Face Life Sentence After Running Bitcoin Exchange

A 25-year-old Bitcoin seller is now facing a life sentence after running an unofficial Bitcoin exchange. This was officially announced by the United States Justice Department on Friday. Moreover, the Bitcoin seller has supposedly agreed to plead guilty to the charges.

Bitcoin seller facing life sentence

This 25-year-old comes from Westwood, Los Angeles, and has reportedly exchanged “up to $25 million in cash and crypto without a license and anti-money laundering policies”. The person in question is named Kunal Kalra, but is also known under other monikers.

For example, he has supposedly gone under the moniker of Coinman, Shecklemayne, and Kumar. Kalra has reportedly been indicted after running an extensive crypto exchange network. Kalra is said to have been trading cash and crypto for malicious actors – such as drug dealers – via a Bitcoin ATM kiosk.

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According to the US Justice Department’s announcement, Kalra has agreed to appear in court next month and plead guilty to the charges. Moreover, the release from the Justice Department suggests that Kalra ran the unlicensed exchange starting in May of 2015 through October of 2017.

Furthermore, Kalra has admitted to exchanging Bitcoin for cash with individuals such as drug dealers. These drug dealers are said to have obtained their cryptocurrencies from selling narcotics on the dark net. In addition to this, the US Justice Department is also prosecuting Kalra for not implementing an AML scheme.

Law enforcement reportedly seized over a million dollars

According to the Justice Department, failing to implement an anti-money laundering means that Kalra facilitated these transaction – with a commission – despite knowing they originated with drug trafficking affairs.

What’s more, law enforcement is said to have seized roundabout $889,000 worth of cash from Kalra. In addition to this, they also took around 54.3 Bitcoin along with other cryptos. All in all, law enforcement is said to have seized assets worth more than a half-million dollars.

Perhaps most notably, the US Justice Departments announcement said the maximum penalty Kalra could receive is a life sentence. As such, this case could potentially see a lengthy prison sentence  distributed. 

On the other hand, a 32-year-old Australian man was recently convicted for money laundering with Bitcoin. The Australian, called Emilio Testa, is said to have facilitated Bitcoin trades with undercover agents – despite knowing the proceeds were narcotics-related. However, Testa is only said to be facing one year in jail – rather then Kalra’s potential life sentence.