Indo-Canadian Entrepreneur Detained By US Court Over Bitcoin Fraud Worth Over $24 Mn
A district court in the US has detained a 48-year-old Indo-Canadian entrepreneur following his indictment on charges of laundering Bitcoin valued over USD 24 million at the time of the transaction, the Department of Justice said in a press release on Wednesday.
The two-count indictment, unsealed on May 17 charged Firoz Patel, the former operator of Payza.com, with money laundering and engaging in monetary transactions in property derived from specified unlawful activity, it said.
US District Court Judge Dabney L. Friedrich, of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, ordered Patel to be detained pending trial, it added.
Previously, Firoz, his brother, Ferhan, 42, and their company, MH Pillars, doing business as Payza, were prosecuted in the US District Court of Columbia for operating an Internet-based unlicensed money service business that processed more than USD 250 million in transactions, it said.
Through Payza.com, the defendants ran a money-transmitting business that operated without the necessary state licenses and knowingly transmitted funds that were derived from illegal activity.
The brothers who founded and operated Payza.com, AlertPay.com and Egopay.com, each pled guilty to conspiracy to commit crimes against the US by operating an unlicensed money-transmitting business and by laundering monetary instruments.