Bitcoin ATM company allegedly profiting from crypto scam through unlicensed kiosks

A Bitcoin (BTC) technology company and its executives have been charged with allegedly operating unlicensed crypto kiosks in the US state of Ohio. The company would have benefited from victims of crypto scams.

Lack of protection

S&P Solutions, which operated as Bitcoin of America, along with 3 of its executives, face charges of money laundering, conspiracy and other crimes related to the operation of more than 50 unlicensed crypto kiosks in the state .

Charges were filed against the company, Sonny Meraban (owner and founder), Reza Meraban (manager) and William Suriano (prosecutor). The trio were arrested last week and search warrants were served at their homes in Florida and Illinois.

According to District Attorney Andrew Rogalski, scammers, law enforcement impersonators and “Robocallers” took advantage of the lack of anti-money laundering protection in the company’s systems. Its purpose was to transfer funds from users’ crypto wallets.

Rogalski commented at a press conference that “these ATMs are ready for scammers,” adding:

The victims are often elderly or vulnerable. Specifically, they go into Bitcoin from US ATMs and take money they have withdrawn from their savings accounts or 401Ks.

Meanwhile, the company reportedly stole a 20% transfer fee.

ATMs have been seized

The suit also accuses the company of being able to operate because of “written misrepresentation regarding the nature of their business to government agencies.” This allowed them to set up multiple kiosks without a money transfer license normally required, according to a March 3 report from Law360.

Authorities seized 52 Bitcoin ATMs last week. However, the company has more in Ohio and other states. Bitcoin of America earned $3.5 million in profits from cash deposits at these illegitimate kiosks in 2021, Rogalski said.

Officials believe the company has been exploiting and evading legal safeguards and financial compliance requirements since 2018. The investigation into the company and its executives was reportedly led by the Secret Service’s Cyber ​​Fraud and Money Laundering Task Force.

In October, the FBI’s Miami Field Office warned that crypto ATMs were becoming a popular vehicle for scammers.

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