Today was a short day with about a dozen crypto6 supporters making it to the trial, but not terribly unsurprising as people showing up late didn’t get to see anything and many can’t make an entire day due to work and other obligations. So over all a decent turnout. The complete summary of the days events are posted below in full.
The prosecution tried to undermine Ian’s credibility through a dirty joke involving Renee being a dominatrix taking money from boyfriends from all over the country. No, she didn’t do that, but that was the point the prosecutor was making. Keep in mind that other witnesses also testified that Ian consistently said never to lie to the banks.
There was some question as to whether or not Renee was pressured into taking a plea deal through threats of 8-10 years in prison should she not.
It is revealed by Renee that the reason for the church outreach was that bitcoin undermines the governments ability to to go to war or do evil stuff. The money was not raised for a profit, or business, but for charitable cause.
The most interesting thing that happened though was the defense brought up the fact that the prosecution couldn’t prove that a bitcoin transaction was money transmission. You can have a transaction without transmission occurring. I can buy land and there is a transaction involved, but that land can’t be transmitted.
Continuation Of Renee’s Testimony
Communications from chat show Renee and Ian were discussing how to make a bank happy
The prosecutor is using a joke about Renee getting cash deposits from boyfriends she’s got all over the country in an effort to undermine her/Ian’s credibility.
From a chat log they show “We’re not registered”
Q Did you understand that to relate to your operation?
Audio from chat played talking about another case where someone is convicted of a similar crime for selling crypto even though they did register with FinCEN
Q Did Ian have ability to see money being put into the vending machine?
Q What does ‘major wale’ mean (from chat)?
A Someone was filing the machine with money
From chat log: “26% of machine”
Q Is that the percentage of the vending machined filled with cash?
Q At this time were you just doing CVM connections for Mr Freeman?
A I think so
Q This Murphys is Murphy’s bar in Manchester?
Q Do you know how long it was there?
A A year maybe I think
Q How often did you pick up?
A It was a weekly thing
Q Was it open to the public to use?
Q How big was the machine?
A It was a foot and a half by two feet
Sticker on the door said it was there
Q The owner knew it was there, right?
Q Ever hear any complaints from the owner, law enforcement, or anyone?
Q What did you do?
A Walk in and put cash from machine in bag and walk out
Q Anyone stop you and say what you were doing was illegal?
Q Any police officer walking down the street could see it, right?
Q Can you explain plea deal?
A 8-10 years in jail was the potential sentence I was told if I took it to trial so the logical thing to do was to take a plea deal and get no jail time, but would be a felon for the rest of my life.
Q Who said 8-10 years?
A The prosecution
Q Do you think you did anything illegal?
A No, neither that or anything wrong
Q Why then take a plea deal?
A I was just scared
Q Never conspired or did anything with Ian that was illegal?
Q Why buy and sell bitcoin? What was mission?
A To keep as much money as possible out of governments hands because they do evil stuff with it.
Q Was this a church mission?
Q Was anyone being scammed?
Q if you thought someone was being scammed what would you do?
A We wouldn’t sell to them
Q Did you purposely engage in money transmission or anything unlawful?
My understanding is it was not a business
Q Did Ian force you to do any of this stuff?
Q You could stay with Ian a do this money thing or not right?
Q Can you tell people about Ian’s lifestyle?
A He lives a modest lifestyle, definitely not a life of the rich and famous
Q What does he drive?
A Rev 4
Q So an older used car?
Q So you called him rich because he doesn’t have to beg and scrape for money?
Q Do you know where church money went?
A Yes, homeless shelter and other stuff
Q Do you know what he preaches?
A Yea, always show people bitcoin wallet
Q Does he charge it?
Redirect from prosecution
Q Was one of the questions at sentencing that you lied to banks?
A Yes, because I was compelled to do as part of plea deal
[Renee asks for her lawyer]
[testimony resumes w/o consultation with lawyer as you can’t talk to your lawyer during testimony]
[The prosecutor doesn’t like the truth and appear to be threatening her with perjury via intimidation for revealing the system is rigged]
You can’t consult with counsel while testifying, but council wasn’t properly “in” the court due to COVID and tech issue which is why we recessed to the jury.
Q Why did you tell the judge laplanet you were guilty was that a truthful answer?
[effectively she is forced to lie because if she does not they can charge her with perjury which is messed up because you are required to perjure yourself to get a plea deal effectively]
Q Were you represented by a lawyer during the proffer?
Q After consulting with your lawyer you accepted the plea deal?
Q you had agreed to open bank account and sell bitcoin for Mr Freeman? And that it was unregistered?
Q You did it for church outreach?
May 16, 2020 signal conversation
So my option is limited work or have attention brought to myself
I’d like to make the most amount of money with the least amount of risk
Q So you did church outreach and you were paid for it?
A Yes, both things are true
Q You told…
A I don’t really trust Melanie Neighbours so I don’t know
Q You yourself said Mr Freeman was rich
Q you don’t consider Ian a wealthy man?
Q Not at all?
Q Then you said he was only rich by comparison to you being really poor?
Q Was this a super pressure situation?
[he’s referring to why she took the plea deal]
Q Why did you switch lawyer?
A I hope to change my plea
Q Your intent is now to withdraw?
A Yes, if I can
Q Did you conspire to do anything illegal?
Q Did you take plans to make sure were legal?
Prosecutor asks some more questions
Q Were you a dominatrix?
Q Wasn’t true right?
[they’re referencing the joke about her being a dominatrix and having men all over the internet depositing money into her account]
Defense goes again
Q Did any bank lose any money?
Q How do you know that?
A I was told that by the prosecutor
[this was hilarious as they used their own words against them, and this was 100% true, the prosecutor in two difference sentencing hearings said that there were no financial losses by the banks and this was part of the reason for the sentence given]
Q The banks gave you your money back when they closed your account, right?
Q No restitution was ordered at your sentencing, right?
Prosecution rests it’s case.
Prosecution has the burden of proof.
Tomorrow the defense can, but doesn’t have to put on a defense.
Defense makes motions on money laundering charges
Refer to heroin dealer
Asks to dismiss
Interaction was rejected after Ian learned of illegal activity.
He said he could not agree to sell bitcoin to the undercover agent.
He did not aid or accompany or encourage in any shape or form and did not give discounted rate to the undercover.
Prior to knowing the undercover was a drug deal Ian gave a 10% rate to the agent. After refusal the agent got the normal 14% from the vending machine.
This is not circumstantial evidence, but direct direct evidence.
No control over that vending machine the undercover used.
There was no evidence presented that Ian even knew the guy bought crypt at the machine.
Our view is that he is not refusing under all circumstances, but it has to be low key.
It was a wink and a nod situation.
Evidence is sufficient to get past rule 29.
[this is crazy because that was never said or clearly communicated, and he outright refused in actual words]
Can he even monitor from Keene, yes, but does he even know?
He is watching
[except he isn’t, he is only alerted when money is going into the machine and how much, not who, and even that depends on him paying attention to those alerts on his phone/his phone having connectivity and at the time he probably didn’t have connectivity as he was driving back from Taco Beyondo where the is poor cellular reception between Hillsboro and Keene, but even if he got an alert he wouldn’t have seen it because he was driving]
Active and seeing watching getting cash is different than seeing undercover do it
Agent didn’t say he was going to do it
Whether or not he even owes government taxes.
This is a joke.
He was never asked for documentation.
There was no exploration into profit or loss.
It was all speculation.
No falsifying documentation occurred.
He didn’t do anything.
The IRS agent just did a standard deduction.
No overhead, not take, not charitable deductions.
Or even that he is a non-profit.
It’s all a myth.
We don’t even know there is other money.
You can’t just make up it up and they did.
She looked at locatbtc records and case for each trade over above standard costs.
Chat from localbitcoin
Income proven, but was he required to file “not owe anything” is concerning.
I need law on this, not just testimony.
Look at the actual exchange: “may not owe any taxes at all”
It would also have to be wilful and intentional.
It’s like a “gotcha game” here.
Never sent letter or even tried to get contact like they normally do for everyone else.
[remember the IRS agent testified that they were out to get him and didn’t follow standard procedure because of it]
The evasion charges seem unusual giving no prior contact occurred based on my experience as a judge and former prosecutor.
They didn’t show any evidence of transition.
No blockchain evidence was shown.
Does it even transfer?
Is it actually a transfer?
Devoid of transfer evidence.
I hope we are not leaving it to the imagination of the jury.
They are not in money transmission business.
They didn’t claim to be a business.
They claim to be a church.
But transmission itself is a bigger issue.
No testimony as to what transmission even means in relation to this case.
They are worried as to what a wallet is and that hasn’t even been defined.
Money transmission someone explained it.
What wallets were.
FinCEN testified transmission of crypto is money transmission.
And evidence those transactions happened.
What we didn’t get
What evidence do we have tying his wallet to anyone in this case?
Proved transactions not transmissions.
It is the act of transmitting that is in question.
Ok, it is the understanding of it that is the problem
I’ll take it under advisement
End of Day 8