Indian American indicted in cryptocurrency money laundering scheme

Photo credit: Federal Trade Commission

If convicted, Manik Mehtani and his partner face up to 20 years in federal prison for allegedly laundering over $750,000

A 33-year-old Indian American man allegedly partnered with a 75-year-old woman to launder more than $750,000 with their co-conspirators in a cryptocurrency money laundering scheme in Eastern Texas.

Manik Mehtani of McLean, Virginia, and Lois Boyd of Amelia Court House, Virginia, have been indicted for their roles in a cryptocurrency money laundering scheme in the Eastern District of Texas, US Attorney Brit Featherston, announced Thursday.

Read: BitConnect’s Indian founder Satish Kumbhani disappears (March 1, 2022)

If convicted,Mehtani and Boyd face up to 20 years in federal prison, according to a Justice Department press release.

The two were named in an indictment returned by a federal grand jury, charging them with a violation of the Travel Act, money laundering, and money laundering conspiracy.

According to the indictment, Mehtani and Boyd are alleged to have conspired with others to receive victim money derived from a variety of fraud schemes and launder the proceeds through cryptocurrency.

The two are alleged to have routinely structured deposits in order to avoid transaction reporting requirements and to conceal the nature and source of the criminal proceeds.

Read: Indian American owned crypto company Longfin under SEC scanner (April 10, 2018)

Mehtani and Boyd allegedly exchanged the criminal proceeds for cryptocurrency and directed the cryptocurrency to wallets under the control of their foreign co-conspirators.

In August 2020, Mehtani and Boyd traveled to Longview, Texas, where they attempted to exchange more than $450,000 for Bitcoin.

They were temporarily detained and the money was seized. In the course of their operation, Boyd, Mehtani, and their co-conspirators allegedly laundered more than $750,000.

Read: Indian-American among 2 indicted in US for role in crypto money laundering (March 11, 2022)

The pair was nabbed as part of an Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Forces (OCDETF) operation. OCDETF identifies, disrupts, and dismantles the highest-level criminal organizations that threaten the United States using a prosecutor-led, intelligence-driven, multi-agency approach, the Justice Department said.

This case is being investigated by the US Secret Service and the US Postal Inspection Service.

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