March 5, 20182min1833

US Jails Off-Line Bitcoin Trader

Eldon Stone Ross, a 24-year-old from Kennett Square borough of Chester County, Pennsylvania, will serve a year and a day in federal prison for facilitating off-line Bitcoin transactions.

Mr Ross transacted $1.5 million in Bitcoin over the course of two years and earned approximately  $40,000 in commissions (2.6%). Conducting an exchange-like business without adhering to strict know-your-customer (KYC) procedures and reporting to the Department of the Treasury earned the young man a significant custodial sentence.

Eldon Stone Ross in federal prison for facilitating off-line Bitcoin transactions.
Eldon Stone Ross in a 2014 Kennett Square police photo.

This was not the first such case of US authorities convicting individuals for unlicensed Bitcoin transactions. It sends a strong signal to anyone else that contemplates similar business activities. The US officials are concerned that individuals operating outside of official regulations pose a significant money laundering risk.


Perhaps unsurprisingly, the enterprising 24-year old was already in prison for drug offenses according to the Philadelphia Inquirer. After his latest prison term is over, Mr Ross will be under three more years of supervised release.

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