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Bitcoin pioneer faces trial for tax evasion and unlicensed crypto business

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Bitcoin pioneer faces trial for tax evasion and unlicensed crypto business

A well-known Bitcoin pioneer and Libertarian activist Ian Freeman is currently facing an eight-count charge in the United States. The trial relates to tax evasion and operating an unlicensed money-transmitting business.

As Coindesk reported earlier today, Ian Freeman and a group of his associates are on trial in New Hampshire. US Federal prosecutors have charged the crypto pioneer with aiding virtual crimes totaling more than $10 million.

Ian Freeman allegedly assisted scammers and other criminals launder more than $10 million using Bitcoin (BTC) from 2016 until 2021 through a network of crypto vending machines and in-person and virtual trades.

This week, Freeman and his co-defendants will also face federal charges for tax evasion and operating an unlicensed money-transmitting business.

Freeman allegedly committed the crimes with a group of scammers known as the “Crypto 6.” In March 2021, Freeman and his associates were apprehended in a raid. Four of the Crypto 6 have taken plea deals, including Freeman’s fellow radio host Aria DiMezzo, his former girlfriend Renee Spinella, her husband Andrew Spinella, and Nobody (formerly Richard Paul).

Though DiMezzo is not scheduled to be sentenced until later this month, the other three defendants received relatively light sentences and avoided jail time. Colleen Fordham, for example, had all charges against her dropped. Despite this, Freeman has maintained his innocence, calling the charges against him politically motivated in an interview with Eagle Times.

Prosecutors reportedly told the New Hampshire jury during their opening statements on December 6 that Freeman was the ringleader of the illegal crypto-selling business. They claimed he began by installing several bitcoin kiosks throughout New Hampshire, and then expanded into advertising for in-person and virtual cash-for-bitcoins trades on websites such as localbitcoins.com.

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