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Bitcoin ATM Operator Accused in New York of Running Illegal Business

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Joyashree Dey Follow


Apr, 19 2022

Apr, 19 2022

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A New York City resident named Robert Taylor has been accused of purportedly running a network of illicit bitcoin ATMs in laundromats focused on clients associated with crimes looking to launder cash secretly.

On April 13, Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg Jr. reported that “Robert Taylor allegedly went to great lengths to keep his bitcoin kiosk business as secret as possible to attract a clientele that would pay top dollar for anonymity.”

The 35 years old man, purportedly finished $5.6 million in exchanges in a single year, energizing clients' expenses of to 25% to change their money over to bitcoin the Manhattan District Attorney's office said.

Taylor ran bitcoin kiosks in somewhere around 46 places in New York City, generally in laundromats, as well as areas in New Jersey and Miami.

He defended the high expenses to clients by focusing that his activity posed no inquiries and ensured obscurity, examiners said.

Taylor is charged with numerous counts of working an unlicensed cash transmission business, criminal tax fraud in a third degree, and offering a misleading instrument for filing in the primary degree.

Bragg elaborates: "As the use of cryptocurrencies like bitcoin proliferates, they continue to attract a wide range of bad actors who are hoping to evade law enforcement."

Agents seized cash of $250,000 from Taylor's Manhattan penthouse and $44,000 from 20 of the bitcoin ATMs. They likewise said they observed a sketch in his apartment of two men installing a bitcoin kiosk at a laundromat.

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Scientific investigation showed that more than $5.6 million in real money was kept in Taylor's bitcoin ATMs between September 2017 and November 2018. More than $590,000 in charges were gathered and roughly $160,000 were credited into Taylor's financial balances in the bank.

Taylor's business was not authorized by the New York State Department of Financial Services or the U.S. Depository Department of the Treasury, prosecutors said. It likewise didn't expect clients to show ID or answer any of the "know your customer" questions that banks are expected to ask under regulation.

According to prosecutors, one client was allegedly told, “We never ask for ID or have a camera that takes a pic of your face.”

The only identifying information on Taylor’s kiosks was a Snapchat icon, which linked to an anonymous Snapchat account that was connected only to a pre-paid burner phone and an encrypted Proton email account, prosecutors said. The Snapchat channel told customers not to tell anyone about the location of the ATMs. “We need to stay hidden,” the company said.

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Joyashree Dey

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