‘Doctor Bitcoin’ Pleads Guilty to Illegal Cash-to-Crypto Scheme | USAO-NDTX

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Owner of Bitcoin Exchange Sentenced to Prison for Money Laundering


A Richardson man who calls himself “Physician Bitcoin” has pleaded responsible to illegally working a cash-to-cryptocurrency conversion enterprise, introduced Appearing U.S. Legal professional for the Northern District of Texas Prerak Shah.

Mark Alexander Hopkins, 42, pleaded responsible Tuesday to 1 depend of operation of an unlicensed cash transmitting enterprise. (He was charged through a legal data on July 29, 2021.)

“This defendant ignored federal legislation and allowed fraudsters to make use of Bitcoin to function underneath the radar of legislation enforcement,” mentioned Appearing U.S. Legal professional Prerak Shah. “We’re decided to rid the Bitcoin market of anybody who knowingly helps legal actors stash unlawful earnings inside crypto wallets.”

In line with plea papers, Mr. Hopkins admitted he ran a enterprise that transformed U.S. {dollars} to cryptocurrency, primarily Bitcoin, for a payment. He steadily despatched BTC to prospects’ crypto wallets with out taking extra steps in verifying the supply of the money, he admitted.

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In September 2019, a buyer recognized in court docket paperwork as “M.H.” approached Mr. Hopkins to transform U.S. {dollars} to BTC.  The cash Mr. Hopkins acquired from M.H. stemmed from a lottery rip-off he was operating with a coconspirator in Nigeria. 

Mr. Hopkins admitted he promised to not become involved within the particulars of M.H’s enterprise dealings, however informed M.H. circumvent monetary establishment reporting necessities by preserving deposits underneath $9,500, and directed M.H. to mislead monetary establishments in regards to the objective of the enterprise:

“I’m arrange as a advertising and marketing firm, so inform them you’re paying for a advertising and marketing marketing campaign,” he mentioned.

Over the course of a few yr, Mr. Hopkins performed 37 transactions with M.H., changing between $550,000 and $1.5 million, he mentioned.

The defendant admitted he was not licensed to have interaction within the enterprise of transmitting cash inside the states the place he practiced, nor was he registered as a cash transmitting enterprise with the U.S. Division of the Treasury. He did not comply with federal legal guidelines that require cash transmitting companies to confirm prospects’ names, date of delivery, and deal with – a legislation aimed toward figuring out these engaged in illegal exercise – and did not file foreign money transaction stories for high-value cash-in transactions.

Mr. Hopkins now faces as much as 5 years in federal jail.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Dallas Subject Workplace performed the investigation. Assistant U.S. Legal professional Sid Mody is prosecuting the case.



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