[ This story was updated on Dec 8 ~ 9:30 PM eastern to include more of the summary of the days testimony which I ran out of time to include prior, see further down for where the new edition starts ]
One thing to say is Ian’s lawyer is killing it. The prosecution’s doing such a terrible job that it appears they couldn’t convict a ham sandwich in a grand jury hearing where 99.99% of the time prosecutors win because there is no defense allowed.
Come out and support the Crypto6’s Ian Freeman in OUR fight against tyranny and the state. Plenty of people showed up on Tuesday throughout to support the cause. Questions are going around about the mask and ID policy. Unfortunately the court has instituted a mask required policy and a new ID policy in an attempt to deny supporters of the Crypto6 entrance. As a result of prior incidents at the court involving ID and other government monitoring of supporters the court has instituted these policies. It’s possible that someone will try to justify these policies as not being the result of our support. However the facts speak for themselves. The government instituted the ID policy in late November ~ about 30 days prior to the trial. Evidence of this has been posted above. Until jury selection and trial began there was no mask policy or no enforcement thereof. I’ve been to dozens of court hearings in the past year and none of them required a mask. Now you might be thinking- maybe it’s to protect people because there are so many people in the room. This is non-sense. The judge instructed the room that they could remove the masks on Wednesday following the exit of the jurors from the room. This policy or enforcement thereof has nothing to do with the guise of safety. It has to do with keeping supporters out. The justification by the court for the masks is due to CDC guidance when in fact the CDC has NOT recommended masks for quite some time maybe ~6 months or even much longer now.
I’d encourage people not to let this stop you from partaking in observation of the trial and the hearing. The best way to counter these policies and their main aim (to keep us out) is to resist, but ultimately comply. Compliance ensures we put up a fight while still achieving the greater aim. Ultimately this is the only thing we can really do in regard to any of these draconian efforts to undermine the guise of what they call the justice system. That is protest- fight- but do so peaceably as we always have. It’s peace that demonstrates who the real aggressors are.
My resistance led to a 45 minute delay on Tuesday and resulted in me missing part of the jury selection process. It was the best day to resist as not much happens during jury selection that is actually public despite it being “public”. No, it’s not ian that has been secretive, and having something to hide. It’s the court, it’s the government. ~3 hours of classical music playing in the background to inhibit the public from hearing the quiet whispers is right out of the soviet era. A tactic of suppressing dissent while giving the appearance of having an “open” and “free” or democratic system.
We can resist AND support Ian and freedom in more than one way simultaneously. For those who come to the main room there are free the crypto6 t-shirts that say Bitcoin is not a crime available. No charge. I will graciously accept contributions to offset the printing costs however, but more importantly is people find me and get a t-shirt. I have hundreds of crypto6 t-shirts left and I want them GONE by the time this trial is over.
What happened during Day 2 of the trial?
About 15 supporters of the Crypto6 came out to support the trial. Good job guys! Some interesting notes of the day. Where the defense had 1 layer the prosecution’s team had 6 lawyers on the prosecutions side that we know of. Other lawyers likely were helping with the case elsewhere or on other days. The disproportionate funds being spent by government to attack people are far greater than those any individual can generally afford to put into a defense as the government generally isn’t paying for a good defense.
The prosecutor starts by calling Alex Commoli to the stand. Alex Commoli has an undergrad degree, has a law degree, is an attorney, and a forensics annalist.
She is involved in cyber money laundering, drugs, virtual currency, and works as a case agent alongside prosecutors. She said she worked for the “virtual currency evolving threats unit” for 5-6 years and partook in training activities. She also has worked (exclusively) online as an undercover to “infiltrate online communities”.
Q What was your role in this case?
A Looked at records
She would purchase bitcoin as an undercover agent from localbitcoins.com
Q Do you have a basic understanding of how crypto works?
Fiat is currency backed by a government.
Q Do you have a bank account?
Q What was the process for opening a bank account?
A Provide ID so they know who you are
Q When purchasing a car with a check whose involved in the transaction?
A Me, you, and two banks
Q What are the banks doing?
A debiting my account and crediting yours
Q In virtual space how would you do this? What does this case use?
A Bitcoin, instead of a check we do it in bitcoin
example 1 bitcoin for car
Q How do we do this transaction?
A Need something to store, send, receive
Q How do we get this?
A Via a wallet, a wallet stores Bitcoin
Q Where is the wallet gotten from?
A There are hardware wallets and web wallets
Q Both have wallets?
A There is a public and private key, an address is like a bank account
Q Private key?
A It’s equivalent to a pin or signature authority, it’s a super secure string #
Q Your wallet to my mine, how many entities are involved?
A Two. You and me.
Q For banks how many entities are involved?
A At least 4 for banks
Q How do we keep score in bitcoin?
A It’s done on the blockchain the same way banks do debits and credits
Q How do I see it?
A Download or via a website
Q How many digits is wallet?
A About ~26 to 36, I can’t remember exactly
It shows ABC2 sent money to ABC1.
Shows amount, time, and other info.
Q Wallet, time, and amount?
Bitcoin network verifies transactions
There is no entity that is blockchain
Q Identity notification on blockchain?
It’s pseudo anonymous
Q Could I figure out every transaction you made?
anonymous means you can’t know
pseudo anonymous means you can know
Q Is the bank pseudo anonymous?
Names are on your checks and banks know who you are
Q Can you investigate a check?
A Police can and a bank can
Q For Bitcoin?
A You can call police, but no recalling is possible
The transaction can’t be undone
It’ can’t be pulled back
Q “anonymous and unrecoverable?”
[ The witness falsely indicates here and contradicts what she said earlier that bitcoin is psudo anonymous ]
Q Previously we presumed we already had bitcoin. If we don’t have it how do we get into it?
A Mining. The most common way is through exchanges. Places you can buy crypto..
Q Dollars to bitcoin conversation requires what?
A ID, passport, email, and other info
Q What is another way to do cash to bitcoin?
It’s like craigslist or ebay
It has different options for payment
ie it’s peer to peer or person to person
Q Another way?
Often they will go offline
Q Private sale?
Q Other ways?
You put in money and get bitcoin out
Q LocalBitcoins.com is an investigation you worked on?
A I can confirm Ian Freeman used LocalBitcoins?
[This is technically a false statement, as a forensics expert she only can confirm that someone passing through an internet connection registered in Ian’s name and might be Ian used LocalBitcoins, but it could also be another user, a name in a fraudulent account, or someone proxying through the connection, I have computer forensics training and a computer science degree, and much of what is said by computer forensics “experts” is just wrong or misleading, and this case is no different]
Q We will go through records from LocalBitcoins.com, you have been a buyer here?
A You put in how much of a % you want to sell and payment methods
Q Like ads for buyers?
Q So you found an ad you liked now how do you start?
A Looked for terms like ID required
Q How do you start?
A You enter an amount and click trade. A chat box then opens with the seller.
Q How do you get money to sender?
A LocalBitcoins.com acts as an escrow service. So seller can’t make off with your money without releasing crypto. Can be done with gift cards, wires, etc. Bitcoin is released once the terms are fulfilled.
Q Is feedback important?
Feedback is like that on Amazon and Uber and other platforms.
Q Why is feedback important?
A Buyers choose sellers based on high feedback level
[At this point they pull up a record from LocalBitcoin.com]
[This shows information in a database that LocalBitcoin.com maintains pertaining to transactions purported to be in the name of ian, and different churches, and unknown parties ]
Username is important to people as they tend not to use full or their real name.
Real name won’t show to buyer unless seller reveals it.
Q Did Ian?
[ This is technically inaccurate as they have not and can’t confirm it is Ian behind the account, none-the-less the so called computer forensics expert testifies to it ]
Q Did he provide phone, email, address, etc?
Q When was account created?
Q Last seen?
A June 3, 2020
Q 39 Ads?
Q What is this?
A drivers license to open account
[Note that a drivers license is not proof that someone opened an account, a drivers license could be obtained via a database leak from the dark web, and then utilized to open the account, while Ian doesn’t appear to be disputing this it’s not as clear cut as the forensics “expert” is making it sound]
[They now admit evidence which is a list of ians advertisements on LocalBitcoin.com]
Q What is this?
A Customer information for user bitcoinbombshell
Q Is account?
A Renee Spinella
Q Are these all to sell Bitcoin?
Q What is a wire?
A A transaction between two bank accounts
[They now present a terms of trade document on the screen, the evidence is all being displayed on large TV screens in the courtroom]
Q When does this come up?
A Pops up if a user clicks on an ad
Q Is the time a transaction takes a concern?
– For Bitcoin no refund
– Take a pic of entire receipt
Q Why is this important?
A Confirms funds transferred to seller
Ian’s disclaimer on screen:
~”what you do with bitcoin is your business. Don’t tell me what you do. I reserve the right to refuse sale. You certify you are buying and receiving the Bitcoin.”
Q You reviewed each trade?
Q Was the disclaimer in every trade?
Terms of trade
Q Due to fraud I may ask for additional info
“depending on history I may require more info… must right for bitcoin purchase from ftl_ian”
Q “Due to fraud I have had to tighten up security?”
A To protect seller
Q This one is for a wire transfer?
“Must match government ID”
Photo of government ID required with written note “I certify I am buying Bitcoin from church of invisible hand” on the receipt is required. User name and reference # on receipt + selfie holding slip is required.
[The defense has no objection to chat log localbitcoin.com, logs are from end of 2019 until 2021, chat logs show ian refused to not follow law when buyer wanted to skirt currency transaction reporting requirements]
[The logs show that ian or purported ian is telling the buyer to say the reason for the transaction if asked by a financial institution is to purchase rare coins]
In the chat log ian says to buyer:
“I can not be seen as avoiding a cash transaction report”
“make deposit, upload photos, and then mark complete”
Account partner: 101 local goods
[What is interesting to note here is that these other entities or individuals are what are called payment processors in the industry and are a completely normal part of conducting these sorts of transactions, there are contracts between entities like convenience stores for example to receive money for goods on behalf of other parties]
~“If having agent deposit on your behalf I need ID from both”
[A this point you see a Nigerian passport posted to the chat log and a “victims ID” Mary Hurd is posted too, this evidence was posted to the docket and evidenced Mary Hurd’s involvement in a scheme to defraud the Shire Free Church, this however isn’t presented or hasn’t been, and it may be due to the fact the evidence is hearsay, but the docket evidence shows Mary Hurd told prosecutors or an FBI agent that she didn’t know the fraudster yet wrote on a receipt when buying Bitcoin that she was buying Bitcoin for the fraudster by name, at a minimum her credibility is destroyed and likely why the prosecution dropped her as a witness yet continues to utilize the chat log as evidence here against Ian, the chat log is here: https://storage.courtlistener.com/recap/gov.uscourts.nhd.56159/gov.uscourts.nhd.56159.218.1.pdf and
The prosecutor said here that Mary Hurd’s only contacts related to these transactions were with “Arnold” and she does not know Chiedu, or the fraudster, yet bought bitcoin for him according the message communicated to Ian via the receipt. She did in fact know the fraudster Chiedu if you look carefully at the evidence posted in the chat log. ]
“I certify that I am buying Bitcoin from FTL_Ian and the Shire Free Church on behalf of [Chiedu, the actual fraudsters full name]” … and todays date and signature.
[Photo of the above is written on receipt with selfie posted to chat log]
Q Does he ask for reason for buying crypto?
[The scammer is getting angry in chat log for Ian and the Shire Free Churches excessive Know Your Customer compliance policies, Ian repeatedly insists in the log that the scammer follow the rules]
Q Why is he doing this?
A To ensure he gets paid
[This is the most absurd answer. It’s obvious to anyone who knows anything about financial regulations that the reason he is doing this is to comply with the law that mandates you have a policy on know your customer assuming at least you are a regulated entity of which the church is NOT under the law meaning that ANY KYC is far in excess of what is required, but it’s actually over the top and not even the banks do this level of KYC]
[A dispute is opened by the scammer after the scammer violates FTL_Ian’s terms / the church’s terms and FTL_Ian continues to insist on following the rules]
“You have not provided the required receipt selfie”
[Scammer then threatened to call police on FTL_Ian. Ian then asks scammer to restart trade and fix issues and then will send bitcoin as was agreed to]
Q What is third party trade?
A Agent marry hurd, ftl_ian, and Nigerian national
[basically the forensics expert is saying a third party trade is where there exists an additional party to the transaction, you have the person depositing money into a bank account, and the person receiving the bitcoin is a different individual]
Q The premises of case is “no questions asked”. There was no due diligence on Mary Hurd. This was a red flag. Our whole overarching basis of the case is Ian Freeman engaged in money laundering.
Types of Evidence
He submitted a document to the court that he did not remember having any contact with Mary Hurd. Document indicates Ian to say rare coin / investment..
Q Is there any evidence that this was a transaction for rare coins?
[This is blatantly false given that Bitcoin’s value is derived from it’s rarity and the name Bitcoin literally has the word coin in the name, but the government considers the word “coin” to be a legal definition and only ever mean US currency. If you claim a euro coin is a coin you’re somehow committing a crime. Obviously there are non-government coins in existence. Often valuable, often novelty coins, etc In fact my company sells something we refer to as a novelty token, and not a coin ONLY because the government uses this to persecute people, see https://www.thinkpenguin.com/gnu-linux/gnu-slash-linux-token-tpe-linuxcensored, basically we went in and made it obvious we were being censored as we can not utilize the term coin without the risk of the government using this against us under this absurd non-logic]
[Evidence of chats is suppose to show Ian never asked why customers were purchasing crypto as if it isn’t relatively obvious… 99.9% of purchasers are buying crypto as an “investment” whether or not freedom loving folks like that and he even had Marry Hurd write rare coin OR investment]
Q Is there any evidence of buyer making a donation?
[This is also false, Google defines donation as “something that is given to a charity, especially a sum of money”, and the Church is a charity and the proceeds are that “something”]
[From all this presented so far we can gather that the government thinks that retired folks buying bitcoin with retirement funds is suspicious, though it’s not at all clear why this is suspicious, it’s as if old people aren’t interested in growing their wealth, which is obviously not true]
[Prosecutor evidences Ian verified phone #s]
[The forensics analyst is asked about using IP addresses evidence and it appears the prosecutor is trying to show or verify that that the account is controlled by Ian even though this can’t be proven. What is shown is a PUBLIC IP and the expert claims it’s a device IP which just isn’t the case. There is no link connecting Ian to the account conclusively.]
Q Anonymity is not illegal right?
Q Private sale of material good you don’t have to explain your doing right?
Q Bank didn’t stop that $750k transaction we talked about earlier right?
A I can’t speak to that
Q Nobody stopped that event right?
Q Bank questioned and freeman questioned it too right?
Q Ian somehow worked hand in hand with fraudsters right? Any indication he worked with scammer?
Q It stopped on local bitcoin if suspicious right?
Q It would be crazy if a scammer didn’t want to remain anonymous right?
Q Did Ian give out spoof’d phone #?
Q Did Ian give out fake name or address?
Q If anybody wanted to go after him they could, right?
Q So he wasn’t being secretive?
[This is important because in the opening statement the government claimed he was being secretive and their own witness is saying he was not secretive]
Q Is that normal for scammers?
Q People want Bitcoin everywhere, right?
Q Did Ian know any scammers?
A Nothing I did could make that link
Q Why is age important?
A Indicator of fraud can be age particularly with Bitcoin
We consider this to be red flag
[Wow- the prosecutors own witness testifies to the fact the government is expecting people to discriminate, likely illegally against old people, this conflict makes you a criminal whether you do or don’t comply with the governments interpretation of the regulations]
Q How many transactions did Ian do?
A Over 3,000
[note: it was ~3900, just shy of 4000!!!!]
Q 20 transactions seems like a small # out of over 3,000 transactions, right?
Q Did you read Ian’s reviews? The feedback
Q Good reviews?
A Yes, customers were satisfied
Q No scams or people being ripped off?
Q Did Ian ever meet the Nigerian national?
Q Did anyone follow up on the international scammers?
A Not to my knowledge
Q Why would someone document ID?
A Not a robot, a real person, and be able to dispute a transaction
[Aww this is a crazy answer, it’s obviously done for legal reasons, ie KYC]
Q It would be to protect against scams, right?
[Then she admits its to stop scammers !!!! which is what KYC is for]
Q If government wanted to investigate they could because Ian had documented buyers, right?
Q Did FBI ever go to Ian and ask for help?
A I’m not aware of that
[great answer, obviously they didn’t]
Q He had protocols to ID people, right?
Q Did he try to corneal anything from the FBI?
Q Before Bitcoin there were scammers, right?
Q They used gift cards before bitcoin right?
Q Nothing secretive about Ian’s bank accounts right?
[Governments witness admits Ian didn’t commit a crime as the governments argument is or was he committed fraud against the banks, this part of the charges were dropped before trail]
Q When did bitcoin start?
Q Did physical bitcoin ever exist?
[Sort of right sort of wrong, but psychical coins existed after Bitcoin was invented, but more of a novelty item than actual Bitcoin even though they “held” Bitcoin]
Q Original value of Bitcoin was zero, right?
Q People liked it because you didn’t have to tell anyone what you were buying, right?
Q If you pay in cash for a car nothing is illegal about that right?
Q Freeman was concerned about impostors right?
Q Is this normal for scammers?
A He wanted to make sure they had him
Q Scammers don’t try to protect people, right?
A No, not usually
Prosecutor counters cross examination
Q He is a money launder, not a scammer, right? That’s the government allegation, right?
Q Ever Ask about source of funds in transactions we looked at?
[umm 20 carefully selected transactions, but what about the 3880 transactions you DIDN’T look at????]
Q Are scammers hard to find?
A Often can be
Q Are these church entities the scammers?
Q What point of bank account?
A To receive money
Q banks didn’t ask where money cam from either?
A I couldn’t speak to that
[Obviously not, or if they did it didn’t stop them from doing business either]
Q Is it your experience good old money launders give their real info?
[holly crap- sure, sometimes, but certainly that isn’t normal]
Q Is that the normal though?
A Yea, not the normal
[Government witness even admits it]
Q He’s flesh and blood, not a shell company, right?
[ note: the below was added at ~9:30 eastern December 8th as I ran out of time to include it prior to a following day trial ]
Works for: US department of treasury (Financial Crimes Enforcement Network, FinCEN)
Works as: Compliance officer
Education: BA and JA School of law…. [missing full name of school]
Joined in 2009
Bank Secrecy Expert
Answers how to comply with banking laws
Could call or email
Then became compliance enforcement officer
Help with enforcement actions
Help banks to understand rules
Q What is bank secrecy act?
A Requires banks to file reports and report suspicious activity
It applies to financial institutions:
– MSBs or Money Service Businesses
– Hedge Funds
Money services business is based on the type of business that is conducted
– Cash checking
– Money transmission
– Prepaid access
– Postal service
Money transmitters are those who transmit funds by any means
Q How about exchanging Bitcoin?
A Yes because if you exchange for fiat you are a money transmitter
Q Exceptions exist?
example: If you cash an employees paycheck once you are not a money transmitter
Depends on facts and circumstances
Q What makes you regulated?
A Regular transmission occurs
1-2 in a year wouldn’t constitute being a money transmitter
FinCEN offers a money service business home page
– It has faqs
– A helpline
Q Guidance on virtual currency?
A Yes, 2013 laid out compliance for users, businesses, etc
A user is someone who make it or spends it
Exchanges virtual currency for fiat is a money transmitter
Q Does size matter for being a money transmitter?
Q Does it it matter if business describes itself as a money transmitter?
Q Does guidance on kiosks exist?
Those were in 2014 and just clarify virtual currency for real money makes you a money transmitter
Q Manor does not manor?
Q Are there registration requirements?
A Yes, all must register within 180 days
The form has bank info, name
There is no fee to register
States have their own requirements
Q Registering with the state does not matter?
All are required to have an anti-money laundering program
1. Policy, procedures, internal controls
2. Compliance officer
3. Education and training
4. Independent review
1. Policy should include:
a. When suspicious what to do
b. Know your customer [aka example you could include an ID requirement, though KYC does not specify this]
c. When to close account
KYC means use of business and type of transactions policy to ask purpose of transmission
[note: the mere sale of crypto wouldn’t necessarily have a intended purpose, only transmission might say if you bought goods, odd for bitcoin sale]
Reporting requirements include those that do all cash transactions over $10k in one business day
Purpose is to help with investigations like who is on behalf of etc
[the guy got this wrong… the # was lowered to $8k recently, assuming this law actually applies which it does not in this unique case, sad that I know more than he does]
Suspicious Activity Report
– They believe possible suspicious transmission occurs
– Most common is called structuring, for example someone deposits $9,900 to avoid being reported
[note: later the prosecutor introduces evidence that actually shows Ian ensured that structuring did not occur]
– Breaking up to avoid currency transaction reports,
[ ie depositing $8,000, then $5,000, yea, people get charged with this all the time for merely going about their business and not actually breaking up anything just because it can appear that they did ]
– Lower income person who starts sending millions of dollars
– 40 boxes, and custom box exist
– Unregistered MSB is an example of the above
info collected for narrative for report
Q How do they collect it?
A Type of guidance on how to identify and report
– How to complete SARs
Elder fraud guidance
– Elderly all of a sudden wants to transfer large sums
[ my dad just bought a house and he’s elderly.. I guess he’s a victim of fraud for taking out a lot of money ]
– Does not know what it is
– Direction or control of someone else
Q Purpose of suspicious activity report?
– Bank name
– Suspect info, ID, address, payment instrument
– Find patterns across financial institutions
[ take note that the church is not a financial institution as it DOES NOT transmit anything, not a money transmitter of any kind, important down the line, evidence on day 3 ]
Q Does FinCEN reach out to register?
FinCEN sent email to entities indicating it was believed to be a money services business
Shire Cryptocoin FinCEN Letter is shown on screen
Sent via email
2013 guidance sent in 2018
“letter says it isn’t targeting any specific entity”
[ meaning it’s a general letter to lots of businesses]
Letter sent to Shire Cryptocoin
[ take note: no one knows who this is… but it isn’t Ian, it’s not any of the churches involved in the Crypto6s ]
Q What circumstances led to this letter being sent?
A Part of general program
Q Did anyone ever respond to letter?
[ this is a holy crap because it means no kiosk ever responded to their letters as requested, remember this is the prosecution asking this, NOT the defense ]
Q Can you identify if a business registered?
Certified letter show business never registered
[ Which one? Shire Cryptocoin? No such entity exists connected to the crypto6 ]
Q Never filed suspicious activity report?
A That would not be possible
[ I’d presume that to mean you can’t file if you aren’t registered ]
Defense cross examination
Q Via electronic delivery?
Q Has no human name?
Q Not directed to Ian Freeman?
Q Who runs Shire Cryptocoin?
A I don’t know
Q Was this even read by Ian Freeman?
A I don’t know
Q All you can testify to is this is a common letter sent to people?
Q You don’t know if Ian Freeman ever received this letter?
A I do not know
Q On any of the addresses in email or FinCEN letter do you see Ian Freeman, Shire Free Church, or Shire Bitcoin?
Q Shire Cryptocoin?
Q You have no idea if Shire Cryptocoin has anything to do with Ian Freeman?
A I don’t
Q The purpose of this letter is to tell public what is legal not, right?
Q The law does not have Bitcoin included until 2021, right?
It redefined Money Service Business to include real currency or anything that substitutes for it
[ this is important because they have charged Ian with a crime that didn’t exist until after he was arrested, in the United States this is unconstitutional, this is the definition of an ex post facto law, or a law that retroactively changes the legal consequences (or status) of actions that were committed, or relationships that existed, before the enactment of the law. Note: that at least it would if applied, but it doesn’t because it only applies to those doing what Ian did AFTER he was no longer able to do it any more due to his bail restrictions, and he didn’t ]
Q Never asked to search suspicious activity for Mary Hurd?
[Mary Hurd was a supposed victim of a scammer who we found out the prosecutors evidence actually revealed that she knowingly took part in the scamming and defrauding the shire free church and knew the scammer by his real name and then lied about it based on a receipt where she wrote she was buying bitcoin for said scammer using his legal name, and then lying to the FBI and saying she hadn’t heard the name of the scammer before, they dropped her as a witness as a result of this, but it appears the prosecutions claims can’t be used due to the FBI interview not being done under oath, so sadly the jury never gets to hear that these “victims” in at least some instances were in fact defrauding the shire free church
Evidence of the fraud against the shire free church is available from the prosecutors own submitted evidence which you can find here:
I did not search for any of the scammers
Q Don’t know if banks complied, right
[so they didn’t investigate the actual scammers and don’t know if even the banks were doing any KYC, yet Ian Freeman and the Shire Free Church’s policy was to always do KYC on new customers to the determent of the churches financial benefit]
Note: The day is over and the witness testimony continues on day 3