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Eastern District of California: Bitcoin ATM Company Loses $1 Million for Bank Secrecy Act Violation Conspiracy

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Folsom Company Forfeits $1 Million and Other Assets for Violating Bank Secrecy Act

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Amani Investments LLC, a Folsom company that operated Coinucopia kiosks, has forfeited $1 million in currency, a Mercedes-Benz, Bitcoin, and other items for its criminal efforts to avoid reporting requirements under the Bank Secrecy Act, according to U.S. Attorney Phillip A. Talbert.

Guilty Plea and Violation of Currency Transaction Reports

In February 2023, Amani Investments LLC, doing business as Coinucopia, pleaded guilty to conspiring to avoid filing Currency Transaction Reports (CTRs) that are required under federal law. The Bank Secrecy Act was enacted to combat money laundering and requires money services businesses to report transactions involving more than $10,000 in currency. Willful violation of this requirement is a federal criminal offense.

Failure to File CTRs

Court documents reveal that Amani Investments exchanged over $10,000 in U.S. currency for Bitcoin on multiple occasions without filing a CTR, as required by the Bank Secrecy Act. These transactions were conducted face-to-face with a Managing Officer of Amani Investments. The total amount involved in the crime was approximately $1 million.

Finalized Forfeiture Order

The court has finalized Amani Investments’ forfeiture order, which includes a Mercedes-Benz E63, Bitcoin, gold coins, and $1 million in United States currency.

Protecting the Financial System

U.S. Attorney Phillip A. Talbert emphasizes that federal currency transaction reporting requirements are intended to protect the financial system from criminal proceeds. The U.S. Attorney’s Office will continue to hold accountable those who seek to evade these requirements.

Accountability for Violating the Bank Secrecy Act

Tatum King, Special Agent in Charge of HSI San Francisco / NorCal, states that today’s sentence holds Amani Investments accountable for violating the Bank Secrecy Act. Money is the lifeblood of criminals, which is why it is a primary focus for HSI. The collaborative efforts of multiple agencies resulted in the substantial forfeiture of ill-gotten gains.

Investigation and Prosecution

This case is the result of an investigation by Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), as part of the Northern California Illicit Digital Economy (NCIDE) Task Force. The task force consists of agents from HSI, the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Internal Revenue Service – Criminal Investigation, the U.S. Postal Service Office of Inspector General, and the Drug Enforcement Administration. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Robert C. Abendroth and Veronica M.A. Alegría prosecuted the case.

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