Unlicensed Crypto Business Leads to Indictments in Utah

Two Utah residents have been indicted for operating an unlicensed money-transmitting business, converting over $2.5 million into cryptocurrency, according to the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ). The two were arrested over the weekend in Washington County.

Utah Men Arrested for Illegal Cryptocurrency Transactions

The U.S. Department of Justice and the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Utah announced that Brian Garry Sewell and Keen Lee Ellsworth were indicted in St. George, Utah, for operating an unlicensed money transmitting business, converting over $2.5 million into cryptocurrency between March and September 2020. The arrests occurred over the weekend in Washington County.

Court documents revealed that Sewell and Ellsworth managed an unlicensed money-transmitting business during this period, with Ellsworth using his entity Ellsworth & Associates to transfer over $2.5 million to Sewell. Sewell then converted these funds into cryptocurrency through his entity, Rockwell Capital Management. Neither business obtained the required licenses. From June 2020 to May 2021, Sewell also used Rockwell Capital Management to transfer over $2.6 million on behalf of another entity. The DOJ noted:

Sewell received the funds via wire transfer and then converted the funds into cryptocurrency.

In a separate case, Sewell appeared in court following a federal grand jury indictment last week. He faces multiple federal charges, including wire fraud, making false statements in connection with loans, and money laundering. From December 2017 to April 2024, Sewell engaged in a scheme to defraud investors by misrepresenting his experience, education, and ability to generate substantial returns. The DOJ stated:

For example, Sewell falsely claimed to investors that he ran previous cryptocurrency funds that generated significant returns.

His fraudulent activities resulted in him obtaining at least $2.5 million. Sewell falsely claimed to have managed successful cryptocurrency funds and fabricated his educational credentials, asserting degrees from Johns Hopkins University and Stanford University.

What do you think about this case? Let us know in the comments section below.

Source: Bitcoin

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