New charges have been filed against a Pennsylvania-based day trader accused of securities fraud and market manipulation.
Willner was accused this month by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) of breaking into over 50 brokerage accounts and conducting short sales designed to generate $2 million in revenue resulting in $700,00 in profits.
Willner then traded cash for bitcoin through an online exchange and sent the funds to a partner (not named in the complaint) to "hide" and unassumingly trade for cash to split at a later date.
"I know you wanted to make sure I btc [bitcoin] you but already impatient for 1450?" - Individual A (unidentified co-conspirator)
The new charges are brought by the Justice Department which includes counts of Securities Fraud and Conspiracy to Commit Money Laundering and Willner faces up to 20 years in prison if convicted.
In this case, Willner wasn't really in the business of trading bitcoin per say, he used the digital currency as a tool to launder funds from illegal day trades. He wasn't in the industry. It is unclear if "Individual A" was or was not and is only described in the indictment as a foreign national.
Taking proceeds from illicit activity and exchanging that for bitcoin in an attempt to hide or funnel those funds is an apparent, and obviously piss-poor, attempt at laundering money.