New Orleans, LA

A man from New Orleans convicted of Bitcoin Scam

Jean-Baptiste Dickens
Pierre Borthiry on Unsplash

NEW ORLEANS, LA. -- MICHAEL YUSKO, age 46, of New Orleans, pleaded guilty to conducting an illegal money transfer business before U.S. District Judge Barry W. Ashe on August 6, 2021.

According to court documents, federal agencies have received complaints since May 2018 that YUSKO sold bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies to customers but failed to complete the transactions. YUSKO promised his customers that any amount of bitcoins in exchange for US dollars is priced at five percent above the market price. He then directed these customers to deposit US dollars into one of several business bank accounts, including Nervous Light Capital LLC, Ready Demolition LLC, Patriot Concrete Pumping, LLC, Praetorian Energy, LLC, and Hudson Oak Partners LLC.

YUSKO also forbids his clients to tell bank employees that the purpose of their wire transfer is to buy cryptocurrencies.

YUSKO does not register these companies as remittance businesses with the Treasury's Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN), and it does not comply with the provisions on Title 31, United States Code, Section 5330.

Any business that accepts dollars, funds, or other value that substitutes for currency is considered a money transmitting business under US federal law. This includes both fiat currencies like the US dollar and digital currencies like Bitcoin (BSV), Bitcoin (BTC), and Ethereum (ETH). Those businesses must register legally with the permission of The Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN), a Treasury Department division that monitors money laundering.

Customers spoke with YUSKO and paid them tens of thousands of dollars in bitcoins, according to court filings. The victims lost as much as $201,399.00 in damages.

YUSKO promised to make full restitution as part of his defense and he faces a maximum sentence of five years in jail, a fine of $250,000.00, three years of supervised release, and an obligatory special assessment of $100.

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French, English but All-American

New Orleans, LA

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