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A bitcoin trader on exchange platform LocalBitcoins and his father have been sentenced to prison terms after being convicted of running an unlicensed money transmission business.
The Department of Justice announced late last week that Michael Lord and his father, Randall Lord, were sentenced to 106 months and 46 months, respectively.
Both were charged with running an unlawful money business, while the younger Lord plead guilty to a narcotics distribution conspiracy charge. The two plead guilty last year.
Court records show that Michael Lord operated a LocalBitcoins.com profile, with the moniker ‘Internet151’, dating back to 2012. The profile lists more than 3,000 confirmed trades since it was created. Prosecutors alleged that the Lords used a series of personal and business bank accounts as part of an effort to obscure their bitcoin exchanging.
“Cybercrime is an emerging area of criminal activity, and we want the criminals who hide behind logon names and internet aliases to know that IRS Special Agents will follow the money in whatever form, whether it be digital or paper currency,” Jerome McDuffie, an IRS official, said in a statement.
The case is the latest to involve a LocalBitcoins trader in the US. In the past month, two other users of the site have plead guilty to similar charges. In April, an Arizona-based bitcoin trader was arrested and held following a police raid.
Other LocalBitcoins traders have been the subject of federal investigation in recent years.
Jail image via Shutterstock