US Government Moves to Seize Bank Account Allegedly Used to Launder Cash Through Crypto ATM

News | April 30, 2024 By:

On Thursday, April 18, 2024, the United States government filed a civil forfeiture case against a bank account located at the First National Bank of Oxford, Mississippi.

According to the verified complaint filed in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Mississippi by Assistant US Attorney Samuel Wright, the bank account ending in 2095 is alleged to have received over $265,000 in deposits that are suspected to be proceeds from illegal wire fraud and money laundering activities.

The complaint details an investigation into the source of funds in the account, which is held under the name of James Taylor-Brown. During an interview, Brown claimed to be retired and receiving social security as well as a part-time income, which seems inconsistent with the large sums flowing through the account.

Brown told investigators he met his fiancée online, and she lives in Ghana, communicating only by text. She purportedly asked for his help transferring money from US business partners related to a real estate venture in Ghana. However, officials found no evidence of any legitimate business.

Rather than provide bank records, Brown admitted withdrawing thousands in cash and using a QR code from his fiancée to deposit the money into her cryptocurrency account using a Bitcoin ATM at a local store. Over time, he funnelled an unknown but presumably large amount of funds in this way.

The government argues the account and its remaining contents, along with any Bitcoin or other digital currency accessed via the ATM conversions, should be forfeited as involved in money laundering or representing illegal proceeds. Under the civil forfeiture statute, the property is treated as guilty while an investigation works to prove its link to criminal activity.

If the court issues the requested warrant, the bank account funds will be seized pending resolution of the case. This should help authorities gain more information about the larger scheme as they continue reviewing records and transactions involving cryptocurrency and possible victims.

Please contact BlockTribune for access to a copy of this filing.