Kenneth Rhule was charged after undercover agents exchanged over $140,000 in cash for bitcoin from him. Rhule was operating on the global peer-to-peer platform LocalBitcoins.com under the username “Gimacut93.” LocalBitcoins.com acts as a bitcoin exchange with no middle party. Buyers can directly meet sellers and initiate transactions.
Kenneth has been accused of money laundering.
The 26-year-old is facing an eight-charge complaint, including conducting an unlicensed money transmitting business, five counts of money laundering instruments, and one count of conspiracy to produce and sell marijuana. The undercover agents had been following Kenneth since April 2018, and the alleged criminals helped the agents exchange over $140,000 in cash for bitcoin.
Kenneth might face prison time of up to 40 years.
According to the complaint, when completing these transactions, Rhule did not ask any KYC information from the undercover agents despite being told that a portion of the cash came from human trafficking activities. If convicted, Rhule could face up to five years in for operating an unlicensed money transmitting business, 20 years for laundering, and 40 years for his alleged involvement in selling marijuana. Rhule appeared in the U.S. District Court in Seattle on Tuesday.