Following charges filed by the US Attorney’s Office against Burt Wagner for operating an unlicensed money transmitting business in the state of Colorado in late 2014, the criminal case has been dismissed by a district court judge. Wagner faced up to five years in prison and a $250,000 fine if found guilty.
However, Judge William Martinez issued an order to drop the indictment against the bitcoin trader and charges be dismissed “without prejudice” this week.
Bitcoin Trader Charges
“I appreciate the US Attorney’s Office doing the right thing and dismissing the criminal case against my client. With this dismissal, Burt can begin the process of resuming regular life. It has been a true privilege to represent him. I could not be happier for Burt and his family,” said Wagner’s attorney Brian Klein.
Wagner had been conducting money transmitting services since 2012 and it has been unclear which state laws apply to these kinds of operations. Authorities claimed that he has been participating in a Pirate Pass-Through scam that is being operated by Bitcoin Savings & Trust.
According to the Federal District Court of Colorado, Wagner has been “in the transport and transmission of funds that were known to the defendant to have been derived from a criminal offense and were intended to be used to promote and support unlawful activity.”
However, Wagner and his family have fiercely denied these allegations and raised over 12,000 GBP in donations to help pay for legal fees. Their outstanding legal debts alone are said to total $95,000.
In other states, similar cases have proceeded with penalties, as LocalBitcoins user Pascal Reid recently lost a bid to dismiss money transmitter charges in Florida. Bear in mind that Colorado has been fairly liberal when it comes to bitcoin trader activities yet it wasn’t one of the states that allowed Coinbase’s new exchange operation.