DOJ Indicts Founder of Anti-Money Laundering Bitcoin Project for Money Laundering

www.coindesk.com 2020-06-28 05:30
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The U.S. Department of Justice indicted the founder of “AML Bitcoin” on money laundering and wire fraud charges.

According to a court filing dated June 22, Texas resident Rowland Marcus Andrade, the founder of the NAC Foundation, allegedly raised funds by conducting an initial coin offering for tokens representing AML Bitcoin, telling investors that the tokens would ultimately be converted into actual AML Bitcoin.

“In [its] White Paper, the NAC Foundation claimed AML Bitcoin cryptocurrency would include features that would allow the cryptocurrency to comply with anti-money laundering (also referred to as ‘AML’) and know-your-customer (‘KYC’) regulations and laws by using ‘biometric technologies’ among other methods to confirming the identities of participants in transactions using AML Bitcoin,” the filing said.

According to a 2018 press release, NAC Foundation claimed AML Bitcoin was “the world’s only patent-pending digital currency with anti-money laundering, know-your-customer, anti-terrorism and theft-resistant properties.”

The DOJ filing was first shared by George Washington University Deputy Director on the Program on Extremism Seamus Hughes.

Andrade tried to raise up to $100 million during the ICO, which occurred in late 2017 and early 2018.

According to the filing, Andrade and unnamed colleagues “made public statements and statements to potential purchasers” which “misrepresented the state of the development” of the project; created a fake “rejection campaign”; made statements which indicated the NAC Foundation was close to working with government agencies; and “misappropriated money obtained through the sale of AML Bitcoin.”

The fake rejection campaign centered around the National Football League, the filing said.

“Andrade, NAC Foundation, and his associates claimed that the advertisement would have aired during the Super Bowl if the television network airing the Super Bowl and the National Football League had not rejected the advertisement as being too controversial,” the filing said. “In fact, the NAC Foundation did not have the funds to purchase the advertising time, and the advertisement was never reviewed or rejected by the network or the NFL.”

According to the document, Andrade also claimed to have substantive meetings with the government of Panama and an elected official in California. The Panama claims were “overstated,” and while “Andrade was present at a roundtable discussion and had his photograph taken with the [California] official,” “AML Bitcoin was not discussed.”

Close to $1 million was spent on a new home and real estate, the filing alleges.