US law agencies can celebrate another success in their tireless crusade to stop 'unlicensed money transmitting' in the land of the free. The latest victory is sending a 24-year old crime kingpin to federal prison for making $40,000 from trading bitcoin offline.
Eldon Stone Ross, a 24-year-old from Kennett Square borough of Chester County, Pennsylvania, has been sentenced on Wednesday to serve a year and a day in federal prison for buying and selling large amounts of bitcoin to people without reporting the transactions to the US government.
The young man supposedly sold $1.5 million in bitcoin for almost two years but made only $40,000 (a mere 2.6%) in commissions, which he now has to hand over to the government in addition to his year-long prison sentence. He has been convicted for conducting an unlicensed money transmitting business between January 2015 and November 2016 and failing to report the fiat to bitcoin transactions.
"We don't see many of these cases. It's the first I've done here," said Bert Glenn, the assistant U.S. Attorney who prosecuted the matter in Philadelphia. "If people can go to someone like Ross who is dealing outside the institutional market, it adds to their anonymity," he warned.