The FBI has exposed a clandestine operation involving six individuals who allegedly orchestrated a vast illegal money-transmitting business through cryptocurrencies. According to court documents filed in the Southern District of New York, the group, included Shaileshkumar Goyani, Brijeshkumar Patel, Hirenkumar Patel, Naineshkumar Patel, Nileshkumar Patel, and Raju Patel, conducted their activities without the necessary money transmitting license in New York.
An unsealed affidavit by an FBI agent seeking their arrest discloses the shocking details of their illicit activities. They engaged in converting Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies into hard cash for over two years, from July 2021 to September 2023.
What’s the case?
The court’s recent actions have unveiled a mix of surprising developments. The U.S. Magistrate Judge has granted conditional release to Naineshkumar Patel, one of the accused, indicating potential twists and turns in the case.
The court document quotes an unidentified co-conspirator who claims that their clients were involved in shady dealings. They claimed that some were “making money by selling drugs,” and the wealthiest among them being “hackers.” Shockingly, this co-conspirator admitted to having accumulated $30 million over three years by exchanging cash for virtual currency.
The operation took a dramatic turn on February 7, 2023, when law enforcement arrested an individual responsible for mailing cash parcels on behalf of the covert group. It further exposed the depths of their illicit activities.
This arrested individual, later turned confidential source, cooperated with law enforcement for eight months. They facilitated around 80 controlled cash pick-ups totaling approximately $15 million.
No room for doubt
Notably, the court filings present photographic and video surveillance evidence. This left no room for doubt that the accused operated without the essential registrations and licensing required for a money-transmitting business in New York.
This shocking revelation sheds light on the illicit scope of market on the darknet. As the legal battle unfolds, it may provide more insight into the murky world of cryptocurrency-driven criminal enterprises.