Senior Swindler Sentenced

The Florida Sun-Sentinial reports that a Canadian man was sentenced to 4 1/2 years in prison for swindling seniors out of nearly $1 million in funds, some of which were converted to Bitcoin in an attempt to make hiding them easier.(archived). Stephan Moskwyn pled guilty to a money laundering charge at a federal courthouse in Miami. The scheme involved social engineering tactics on Seniors and vulnerable people, often requesting the person send Bitcoin or Moneypaks to assist a relative in financial trouble. Moskwyn was arrested in a Miami International Airport terminal in October of 2015.

A search revealed no Mr. Moskwyn in The Most Serene Republic's Web of Trust.

Silk Road Fallout Updates

evil itselfThis week United States Secret Service operative Shaun Bridges was sentenced to 71 months in prison for his theft from the Silk Road, the exact amount sought by the prosecution. Back in October more interesting Silk Road thief Carl Mark Force IV received 78 months in prison while prosecutors requested he received 87. Meanwhile last week the United States Federal Bureau of Investigation managed to have a Canadian citizen arrested in Thailand for consulting on the design of a website which happened to be used as a drug marketplace by others. The arrest of a Canadian in Thailand is consistent with the severe clinical depersonalization revealed by the United States Government's consistent pattern of having foreign nationals in still other foreign countries arrested with the aim of prosecuting them in the United States.

Montreal Expo Postponed For Lack of Sponsors

The Montreal Gazette reports (archived) that a local Bitcoin expo being promoted by a group referring to itself as the "Bitcoin Embassy" has been postponed due to a lack of sponsors. Many Bitcoin related ventures which lavishly threw around sponsorship money in the name of "promoting Bitcoin" in the past have been forced to cut back to focus on their business. The expo was scheduled to run from August 21st to 23rd. The Bitcoin Embassy self reports as having been founded in 2013.

3 Years Prison For Backpack Full of Cash in Winnipeg

Erwin Speckert was sentenced to three years of prison after a money laundering conviction derived from his arrest while boarding a Greyhound bus with $1.3 million Canadian Dollars in his backpack. Speckert plead guilty back in October and the sentence was arranged this week through agreement between the prosecution and defense lawyers. Speckert had requested his security screening be done in private due to the sensitivity and value of his backpack's contents and after he was assured by the private security officer who screened him that taking that much cash on him was kosher, the private security officer phoned police who assert Speckert consented to a second search conducted by them. Police further assert that Speckert was determined by their investigation to be working as a courier for "illegal gaming" operators. Speckert throughout his time consenting to security searches at the bus station asserted he intended to purchase real estate and was conveying cash in this manner as he reasonably did not trust banks.

Former Vault of Satoshi Customers Can't Collect

The Brantford Expositor reports that Vault of Satoshi still has a number of customers whose funds have not been returned, even though Vault of Satoshi ceased operations back in February. Expositor reported Susan Gamble along with general allegations against Vault of Satoshi's operators present the story of a customer, Scott Campbell: Continue reading

Ransomware Inception

CBC News reports (archive) that a Quebec family which paid a bitcoin ransom not once but twice still failed to recover their treasured family photos despite paying 5 BTC.

Upon reading the Cryptowall notification that their files had been encrypted and that a ransom was required to be paid if they wished to reclaim them, the couple took their PC to a local repair store which confirmed the legitimacy of the threat. Continue reading

Quebec Regulator: Bitcoin Businesses Need A Licence

Operators of Bitcoin ATMs and exchanges in the province of the "economic shithole" known as Quebec, Canada must now obtain a licence from the Autorité des marchés financiers after amendments were made by the AMF to the Policy Statement to the Money Services Business Act.

The requirement of a licence now means that businesses operating Bitcoin ATMs and exchanges in Quebec will now be obligated to keep a record of financial transactions in addition to verifying the identity of customers. Continue reading