Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of New Hampshire
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, April 25, 2023
Keene Woman Sentenced to 18 Months For Operating an Unlicensed Money Transmitting Business That Facilitated Scams
CONCORD – A Keene woman was sentenced in federal court for operating an unlicensed money transmitting business, U.S. Attorney Jane E. Young announces.
Aria DiMezzo, 35, was sentenced by U.S. District Court Judge Joseph LaPlante to 18 months in prison and one year of supervised release. DiMezzo was also ordered to pay a fine of $5,000, and to forfeit 1.93 bitcoin and more than $14,000 in U.S. currency.
“The defendant’s unlicensed bitcoin business allowed scammers of all kinds to obtain their victims’ money anonymously,” said U.S. Attorney Young. “The sentence today sends an important message that those who sell bitcoin, like other money exchangers, must register and comply with the rules meant to ensure that these businesses are not used to facilitate frauds.”
Between June 2020 and January 2021, DiMezzo charged a fee to exchange fiat currency (mostly U.S. dollars) for virtual currency. DiMezzo recruited customers on websites, including localbitcoins.com. Her customers sent money to her through bank accounts in her name, and in the name of an organization she created, the Reformed Satanic Church. DiMezzo then sent customers bitcoin or other virtual currency in return. DiMezzo also worked with Ian Freeman, selling virtual currency to customers that Freeman recruited, and she paid Freeman a percentage of the profits from the sales. A federal jury found Freeman guilty of money laundering, conspiracy to launder money, operation of an unlicensed money transmitting business, and tax evasion, on December 22, 2023. He is scheduled to be sentenced on July 17, 2023.
DiMezzo sold more than $3 million worth of virtual currency through her business. DiMezzo did not register her business as a money transmitting business and she did not comply with any of the various regulations imposed on money transmitting businesses. For example, DiMezzo never filed currency transaction reports for transactions over $10,000 or suspicious activity reports for transactions over $2,000 that may have involved funds derived from illegal activity, among other things.
This matter was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Internal Revenue Service, and the United States Postal Inspection Service in coordination with the U.S. Treasury Department Financial Crimes Enforcement Network. The National Cryptocurrency Enforcement Team provided substantial assistance in the case. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Georgiana L. MacDonald, John J. Kennedy, and Seth R. Aframe.U.S. Department of Justice Press Release
Categories: Anti-Money Laundering Department of Justice (DOJ) Updates Enforcement Actions Money Services Businesses Pleas and Verdicts
Leave a Reply