Ian Freeman, Bitcoin Money Launderer, Ordered to Compensate Romance Scam Victims with $3.5 Million

Credits: Wealth Caves

Ian Freeman, a libertarian activist and radio host in New Hampshire, has been ordered to pay over $3.5 million in restitution to 29 victims, primarily elderly individuals, following his conviction for laundering tens of millions of dollars in proceeds from romance scams and internet fraud.

Freeman was also directed by a judge to forfeit additional assets as part of the restitution process. The scheme orchestrated by Freeman, known as the “Crypto Six,” involved using several churches to receive funds from victims under the guise of donations before converting them into cryptocurrency.

Among the assets forfeited are approximately 5.24 bitcoins valued at over $258,000 and around $1.1 million in U.S. currency. Freeman, 43, who advocated for Bitcoin as an alternative to the U.S. dollar, was sentenced to eight years in federal prison and fined $40,000 in October for his involvement in the scam.

Ian Freeman (Credits: NBC Boston)

Prosecutors characterized his actions as “the worst kind of crime,” stating that he charged exorbitant fees while laundering proceeds through cryptocurrency exchanges.

Furthermore, Freeman failed to register his business with the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network, as required by law, despite earning over $1 million from his illicit activities.

His operation involved instructing Bitcoin customers, many of whom were scam victims, to deceive financial institutions by describing their deposits as church donations.

Prosecutors highlighted Freeman’s deliberate evasion of taxes from 2016 to 2019 and his concealment of income from the Internal Revenue Service.

The accounts used for these transactions were associated with various churches, including the Shire Free Church and the Church of the Invisible Hand.

Mark Sisti, Freeman’s lawyer, expressed satisfaction with the restitution order and stated that the forfeited assets would cover the required payment without difficulty.

Sisti emphasized that he and Freeman would focus on appealing the conviction, disputing the prosecution’s portrayal of Freeman and the circumstances surrounding his actions.

He argued that the individuals involved were not vulnerable victims but rather sophisticated individuals engaged in financial activities, challenging the notion that they were deceived or exploited by Freeman.

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