On April 23, Callaway Crain and Mark Sanchez from New York pleaded guilty of money laundering and steroid trading. For six years, the defendants illegally earned nearly $3 million in cryptocurrency and used Bitcoin (BTC) to hide the traces of criminal activity.
Crain and Sanchez independently produced steroids using precursor chemicals purchased in China. They sold finished products on the Internet under the guise of well-known brands. Criminals sent steroids to 17 countries, including the United States. Their clients were bodybuilders, fitness trainers, professional athletes, and even police officers.
The public court documents do not indicate on which exchange the criminals traded cryptocurrency. However, it became known that the dealers did not use mixers and tumblers: they transferred the illegally received virtual currency to an intermediate address and then sent it to a deposit account of a trading platform. Criminals accepted Bitcoin as fee and received payments in fiat currency through the Western Union service.
Over the six years of operation, Crain and Sanchez have sent over 10,000 orders, mainly to the USA. The criminals managed to earn almost $3 million. To hide their income, they used fake passports to register accounts on crypto exchanges and received money transfers through Western Union. Dealers sold counterfeit steroids, illegal in some states. Therefore, in addition to money laundering, they are accused of trafficking in prohibited substances.
Both defendants pleaded guilty, and the maximum term of imprisonment in the case of an indictment cannot exceed 7 years and 6 months. However, the lower level of punishment provided for their crimes implies imprisonment for a term of 2 years and 6 months. The final court verdict will be announced on July 12, 2019.
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