Crypto entrepreneur Mark Hopkins, also known as Doctor Bitcoin” or “Rizzn”, claimed on Twitter that he has been sentenced to six to 15 months in federal prison for allegedly participating in peer-to-peer Bitcoin sales without a federal license.
See related article: Tornado Cash arrest heralds storm season for crypto mixers
- P2P sale of Bitcoin is a federal crime, according to a 2019 guidance memo from FinCEN on business models involving “convertible virtual currencies”.
- Hopkins said that one of the unknown users he had traded with was involved in a lottery scam that used illicit funds to purchase Bitcoin from Hopkins.
- Doctor Bitcoin was first raided by 15 armed FBI agents on October 23, 2020, who allegedly questioned his family for five hours and seized US$60,000 worth of electronics, according to a digital copy of what Hopkins claims is a search and seizure warrant.
- Recent crackdowns on privacy-related crypto applications, such as Tornado Cash, the crypto mixer sanctioned by U.S. authorities, have brought on concern and uncertainty among the P2P community.
- After nearly two years of legal proceedings, Doctor Bitcoin pled guilty to operating an illegal cash-to-crypto scheme on June 21, 2021.
- Hopkins started serving his 15-month sentence on September 6, in the Federal Correctional Institution Beaumont Low.
- The U.S. Department of Justice confirmed the sentence to Forkast, but declined to provide further comments.
See related article: Ukraine National Police takes down crypto fraud cybercrime group