Morgan Rockcoons, who is better known as Morgan Rockwell, was found guilty to two crypto-related charges in San Diego federal court. Apparently, he admitted to selling land that he did not actually have and operating a money transferring company without a license.
Rockcoons Found Guilty
According to the official report, the selling of the land was meant to help Rockcoons fund his cryptocurrency project called “Bitcointopia.” His move was first noticed by law enforcement sometime in 2015. This was after he advertised his Bitcoin-fiat currency exchange services, which he was fond of advertising online.
But as far as the United States federal law is concerned, the CEO was violating the law. Basically, businesses operating on the exchange of digital currencies for cash in the country should have a money transmitter license, which can be obtained from the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network. Unfortunately for Rockcoons, he had no such a license.
How His Crimes Were Noticed
Come to the end of 2016, an undercover U.S. agent was able to posh a hash oil manufacturer who wanted to pay equipment in Bitcoin. In his plea agreement, the guilty individual confessed about his actions of transferring around $9,000 in BTC to the agent in order to get the cash value of at least $14,500. Based on the figures, it is safe to say that he kept the surplus as a fee.
But this was not just the major concern in his case. It turns out that, during his bail period, his crypto city project went live. It even came with an initiative defined as “the desert crypto-kingdom of the future.” While it is true that the project’s official website was already offline, it seemed the company was still trying to sell an acre of land in Nevada. It even had a BTC price of 0.5. The others had two acres and three acres, which were sold for one BTC and 1.5 BTC, respectively.
The land sold by Rockcoon can be found in Elko County, Nevada. But according to the prosecutors, the CEO only owned at least 5 acres in 2 non-contiguous plots. In addition, he even advertised between 500 and 1,000-acre plots, resulting in a loss to investors (believed to be around $45,000).
Rockcoons will be facing 20 years in jail due to a fraud charge. He will also be given up to 5 years after operating an unlicensed money transmission company in the country.