“Crypto Six” Become Two as Feds Claim Banks as “Victims”, Bring More Charges

Mr Bitcoin & Bitcoin Gandhi Visit Federal Reserve Bank Of Boston In Support Of The Crypto6

The last month has been a busy one in the “Crypto Six” case. First, three of the Six took felony “wire fraud” plea deals after prosecutors threatened to load them up with even more victimless “crime” charges. Even though no one was actually defrauded out of any money or property, the three – Renee and Andy Spinella and Nobody – agreed to become federal felons, reluctantly admitting guilt to one count each of “wire fraud”, despite no one actually being defrauded out of money or property.

Unfortunately, even though the three are completely peaceful, honest people, now they will be saddled with felony convictions that makes them look dishonest. It’s understandable though, why they would take such a plea. The federal gang is a scary bunch of people and they know how to intimidate. Even when a defendant did nothing wrong, that doesn’t mean a jury will do the right thing and set the accused free. The supermajority of people charged criminally at the state or federal level will take the plea deal, simply because they see it as a way to make their suffering end. Or at least, so it seems in the moment. While it may end the current prosecution, it sets them up for failure later if they are ever arrested again, as then they have a felony conviction, so the next sentence will be even harder.

Though federal juries have surprisingly issued some “not guilty” verdicts in recent years, like the verdicts in the Michigan governor “kidnapping” cases and the Bundy ranch cases, generally juries are pretty obedient to the state, so it’s highly risky to take a case to trial. Plus, federal cases are frequently biased against the defense, like that of Ross Ulbricht, where they weren’t able to call many witnesses or make the case they wanted. So, I don’t blame my friends for admitting to “crimes” they didn’t commit just so they can have some predictability as to what is coming next for them. Nobody is expecting a verdict of “time served” for the six months he did behind bars last year prior to being granted bail in September. Renee is facing up to 18 months in prison and Andy is expecting some amount of probation, or so I hear. I’m still not allowed to speak with my friends under my bail conditions. Their sentencing dates are in late July.

The fourth of the Crypto Six, Colleen Rietmann, co-owner of Mighty Moose Mart in Keene, has had her charges dropped. Perhaps the feds did not want to be seen prosecuting a grandmother in front of a jury at the same time as they are trying to allege that Aria DiMezzo and I were victimizing elderly women caught in romance scams online.

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After Aria and I refused to take the feds’ plea offer, since we’ve done nothing wrong, they followed through on their threat and brought a bunch of new charges against us in what is called a “superseding indictment”. If convicted of all the counts against me, I face up to 420 years in prison. All for “crimes” with no victim. Oh wait, the feds also filed something called an “Organizational Victim Statement”, and according to the attachment, they are claiming we have victimized… the banks! The list includes Bank of America, JP Morgan Chase, Wells Fargo, TD Bank, and many other big banks and credit unions.

Curiously, during one of the plea deal hearings this month, the prosecutors admitted that there were no damages to the “victims”, so they couldn’t ask for any restitution as part of the sentencing. How exactly then were these banks “victimized” by fraud if no money or property was lost? I guess we’ll find out when the case goes to trial this November. As Nobody put it, he has been convicted of “contempt of bank”. Apparently it’s felony charges with up to 30 years in prison for anyone who hurts the banks’ feelings in the “free” country of America.

While it’s no fun to be under highly restrictive bail conditions – I have an ankle monitor on for nearly a year now – at least now all the feds’ cards are finally laid on the table and now we can construct our defense.

The Crypto Six case is an attack on our freedoms. It is an attack against freedom of speech, freedom of religion, libertarian activists in New Hampshire, and against cryptocurrency like Bitcoin. While we are not the first to be accused of victimless “crimes” for spreading Bitcoin, nearly all of those so accused in the past have taken the plea deals, out of fear for what could happen. Aria and I are going to trial and so the feds will actually have to put on their case for the first time, in a desperate attempt to prop up the ever-inflating US Dollar and the banking cartel. Bitcoin is not a crime!

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70 Comments

  1. Uh huh. Way to pay attention, Karl.

    Anyway, turns out what I was really doing was pointing out that the state banking system you’re proposing wouldn’t be any different from the current one that’s pounding us raw all up in our poop chutes.

    I know, Karl. I know. Bernie Sanders says otherwise, but do ya really think you should be taking banking advice from a disheveled old coot who’s only accomplishment in life is winning popularity contests in Vermont, the state with the largest concentration of aging hippies in the entire US?

  2. Do you really believe all that Karl?

    “… unlawful virtual currency exchange scheme…”
    You mean the bitcoin ATM?

    “Substantial efforts to evade detection” Except when he talked about his church and bitcoin all the time on web and radio.

    “Avoiding answering financial questions”
    Yeah there’s this thing called privacy.

    “tricked them into believing”
    It honestly sounds more like the prosecution is tricking us… but okay… The bank got tricked? That poor bank 🙁 Maybe it was just a misunderstanding. Okay let’s see, what did this fraud ultimately cost the bank? Maybe it can be compensated for damages.

  3. “You mean the bitcoin ATM?”

    Sounds like it.

    “Except when he talked about his church and bitcoin all the time on web and radio.”

    Believe it or not, but the banks aren’t listening to FTL and going onto Ian’s blog, nor is that a reasonable expectation for them to do so.

    “Yeah there’s this thing called privacy.”

    Sure. He could have stayed private. Instead, he decided to use the banks, anyway. Don’t forget that there is no inherent right to use a bank’s service. They are allowed to set terms and conditions, one of which is not bringing your unlawful business to their door. Ian wanted to have his cake and eat it too.

    “Okay let’s see, what did this fraud ultimately cost the bank? Maybe it can be compensated for damages”

    I am not sure of the entire cost, but paying compliance officers to investigate Ian’s misrepresentations isn’t free. I’m sure the full figure will come up during the trial.

  4. FYI anyone… It wasn’t a ATM.. Ian’s were vending machines.
    Vending machines don’t require odious licencing .. That ATMs do.
    Of course the courts will run all that up the flag pole.
    I’m guessing part of Ian’s surety in his case has too do with that.
    Like I said, that’s just just guessing..
    The distinction there and whether or not a factor’s in: that’s for *in people to know, I don’t know.
    I just figure Ian must be pretty sure in his case, and no one knows his case better than he does. Also I do know that he consulted with legislators, regarding his machines and those are people who know the law inside out.
    Obviously he didn’t ask ones who didn’t know the law.
    There’s complexities in the case that I God knows I wouldn’t know anything about.
    Like for instance; people call it cryptocurrency now whether it’s really a currency or not…. That’s up in the air for a long time…. Maybe it still isn’t even considered a currency so; if it is in a currency then currency laws don’t apply to it.
    Prosecutors don’t know what the f they’re doing around this s*** either

  5. “I dare you to think of a reason that wouldn’t fall under that category.”

    How about when they’re doing the opposite? Like recording to see how much they can reduce quality to reduce costs. That kind of stuff happens in business, Karl. Well, not so much in a free market. In a free market these banks would be eaten alive by competition.

  6. Ah yes, Crypto Vending Machines (CVM).

  7. Maybe Aria, will blame Ian she goes up the river for a real long time.
    But Aria goes with men so she might find it somewhat enticing to go to jail

  8. “Believe it or not, but the banks aren’t listening to FTL and going onto Ian’s blog, nor is that a reasonable expectation for them to do so.”

    It kinda is for someone who wants to throw around words like “substantial efforts to evade detection”.

    “Instead, he decided to use the banks, anyway.”

    And the bank decided to keep him as a customer.

    “I am not sure of the entire cost, but paying compliance officers to investigate Ian’s misrepresentations isn’t free. I’m sure the full figure will come up during the trial.”

    Hmmm, getting paid to investigate Ian… for information that is already public knowledge… sounds like a pretty good deal for the bank. And no I don’t think we’ll see any figure at the trial.

  9. “How about when they’re doing the opposite? Like recording to see how much they can reduce quality to reduce costs. That kind of stuff happens in business, Karl.”

    True. Thanks for proving my point that quality assurance is vague.

    “:Well, not so much in a free market. In a free market these banks would be eaten alive by competition.”

    Haha good one. I needed that joke. You should look up how banks were prior to regulation.

    “It kinda is for someone who wants to throw around words like “substantial efforts to evade detection”

    They asked him questions as to the nature of his business and he lied. It is not reasonable to expect that they would stalk him to determine whether or not he was telling the truth.

    “And the bank decided to keep him as a customer.”

    Did they? Or were the authorities alerted and he was arrested and charged once they figured out they were being lied to? Hell, maybe they did find out by listening to his radio show. He’s not very bright. Hmm…

    “Hmmm, getting paid to investigate Ian… for information that is already public knowledge… sounds like a pretty good deal for the bank. And no I don’t think we’ll see any figure at the trial.”

    Maybe, maybe not. I don’t think the cost to the bank is the only wrong he committed here though. We’ll see at trial.

  10. “They asked him questions as to the nature of his business and he lied. It is not reasonable to expect that they would stalk him to determine whether or not he was telling the truth.”

    Actually Karl, if that bank was so concerned about fraud, it would have been perfectly reasonable for them to check out Ian’s story, don’tcha think?

    Thing is, anyone with a brain knows that those greedy bankers didn’t give two shits as to whether Ian was lying to them or not and couldn’t wait to take his money. I’ll bet this would have never happened in Commietopia – you know, cuz you commies are made of sterner stuff, am I right?

  11. “Actually Karl, if that bank was so concerned about fraud, it would have been perfectly reasonable for them to check out Ian’s story, don’tcha think?”

    They asked the pertinent questions. Ian lied or obfuscated the details. Are you proposing that it is okay to lie when forming contracts with another party? I thought libertarians were all about mutual consent in business dealings. I guess that façade falls away when one of your own gets his hand stuck in the cookie jar.

    It’s possible that they did in fact check it out, which is why Ian is in the shit he is in.

  12. Pretty sure the banks main interest is: HOW MUCH GREEN STUFF YOUR ARE GOING TO LET THEM USE AND MAKE GREEN STUFF OFF OF.
    I think their rule’s rigidity soften as the dollar amounts go up.

    I read some of the superceding indictment..
    The voice of the writer sounded like the voice of that lady who argued for, and succeeded in having Ian held in jail. (Until the main judge let him out)
    She talks very half assed though.
    I think she makes shit up on the fly.
    Anyway point is.. she’s half assed.
    I think it was more that magistrate’s doing than the argument of that half-ass lady.
    Maybe she’ll be the one arguing the case.
    Her main fuel seems to be hostility, which is good actually, because that means her main fuel isn’t facts.

  13. That’s nice.

    The thing is Karl, the bank didn’t check it out. That’s why all these allegations of “fraud” are coming entirely from the feds. No one in this case was defrauded. And it’s obvious to anyone who isn’t a libtard weirdo that all parties were happily doing business with each other until the feds decided to interfere – you know, cuz… reasons.

    Anyway, have ya heard the good news? Turns out that the libtard weirdo who assaulted Dave Chappelle this week is having all felony charges dropped against him. That’s just totally tits, am I right Karl?

  14. “Ghost of Karl Marx” – So you don’t think it’s fraud for a bank to:

    • Record your phone calls to them without your consent (and deny you access to these recordings)
    • Tell you that “your call is very important to us” as they keep you waiting on hold an inordinate length of time
    • Take taxpayer “stimulus” money and use it to pay bonuses to their executives rather than loaning it out

    But you *do* think it’s fraud for an individual to open an account at the bank, and avoid answering the bank’s questions about how they are going to use that account? If that’s your view, what it looks like from here is straight up bias in favor of banks – which you assert represent the “capitalist class” (except I guess for the central banks that you say Karl Marx was okay with) and other big institutions, and against ordinary people.

    One reason, possibly even the *main* reason, that institutions record people’s calls is to give them evidence they can use (but don’t have to unless it favors them) in the case of any dispute that may arise between the institution and a caller – in other words, to legally cover their own asses. Would you claim this CYA behavior somehow falls under “quality assurance”?

    To answer David’s question as to why someone would open a bank account in the name of a church, the likely motive for Ian, Aria and others opening multiple bank accounts in the name of multiple churches seems obvious to me – to help these religious organizations establish their legitimacy in the eyes of society, particularly those in society who seek to dismiss them as phony in order to trample on the religious freedom of members of their congregations.

    Perhaps also because the crypto-currency “business” in question *was* in fact raising money for the churches. Churches often engage in bake sales, gift shop sales, charging for use of their facilities, and various other commercial enterprises to bring in revenue; there is nothing incompatible about a church raising money by providing some good or service.

    I still have not heard any actual lie that Ian or any of the other “Crypto 6” defendants allegedly told any bank. If they simply neglected to mention certain information that they may have felt would cause a bank to look upon them less favorably, how is that a crime?

    The banks obviously engage in their own habitual omission of information that they feel would cause customers to look upon them less favorably. Like not telling people, “We’re recording your calls so that we can have material to potentially use against you if you ever try to sue us”, or “We know our callers often spend a long time waiting on hold, we set it up that way deliberately so we can save money by not paying more people to answer the phones,” or “The reason we don’t have longer hours is that we don’t have the money because we choose to pay our executives millions of dollars instead.”

    I object to ordinary people and their grassroots businesses, churches, or other organizations being held to stricter standards of disclosure than large institutions with dozens or hundreds of employees and millions of dollars a year in profits, as I think any reasonable person would.

  15. “So you don’t think it’s fraud for a bank to:

    • Record your phone calls to them without your consent (and deny you access to these recordings)”

    They tell you that they are recording at the start of the call. By continuing to stay on the line, you give them your consent. You are free to hang up at anytime, and they are free to not want to talk to you without recording. Also, there is a libertarian argument that you don’t need consent for recording your own conversation anyway, so I am not sure where your problem lies.

    “Tell you that “your call is very important to us” as they keep you waiting on hold an inordinate length of time”

    Nope, not fraud. They are not promising you anything nor making false representations.

    “Take taxpayer “stimulus” money and use it to pay bonuses to their executives rather than loaning it out”

    This could be fraud if they did that and if the stimulus had restrictions on how it was to be used. Otherwise, while it might be infuriating (I’m with you there), it is not fraud.

    “But you *do* think it’s fraud for an individual to open an account at the bank, and avoid answering the bank’s questions about how they are going to use that account?”

    Not just avoid, but actively deceive. Yes, this is fraud if the bank would not otherwise do business with Ian. Businesses have the right to refuse service, just like you. You don’t get to lie your way into a business transaction. That’s a pretty libertarian perspective, no?

    “Would you claim this CYA behavior somehow falls under “quality assurance”?”

    Yes, I think there is a strong argument that this CYA behavior can be defined under quality assurance.

    “likely motive for Ian, Aria and others opening multiple bank accounts in the name of multiple churches seems obvious to me”

    There is another motive that seems even more obvious, and it is what the prosecution alleges. We’ll see if they can prove it.

    “I still have not heard any actual lie that Ian or any of the other “Crypto 6” defendants allegedly told any bank.”

    Maybe instead of commenting here you go look at the court filings on court listener. It’s all there.

  16. It’s a lucky thing that the poor poor VICTIMIZED BANKS! Have someone to vehemently advocate for them on FK.!
    Maybe they won’t keep you on hold as long after the machine tellls you that “your call is very important to us” .. And you never reach a human being to have discourse with

  17. Thank you!
    And thank you for banking with us!

  18. If it were my choice David, I would bring back Glass Steagall and all of the other regulations that keep banks in check. Funny though, whenever somebody brings those up as a possibility, libertarians come out of the woodwork to vehemently advocate for banks.

    I guess we all love banks here!

  19. Libertarians were against bank bailouts too. It’s almost as if we only love them if they don’t get into bed with government or something. Weird.

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