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Author Topic: State of Florida attacks Bitcoin  (Read 8024 times)
DannyHamilton
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February 13, 2014, 05:16:20 PM
 #81

The question I'm attempting to answer is "Who's the victim?", not "What is the crime?"

Clearly, in this case, there is no specific victim.  The crime was imaginary and the victims nonexistent.  Similarly, if you tried to hire a hit man to "rub out the guy who ratted on me" and there was no actual rat, there would be no actual victim.  However, murder-for-hire is not a victimless crime.  It inherently intends to have a victim and where one exists, that victim will be harmed.  Similarly, selling stolen credit card numbers is inherently a crime where there are victims, if the crime is completed.

I generally interpret the term "victimless crime" to mean "crimes" where inherently, there are no victims.  So, for instance, purchasing drugs is a victimless crime.  Thinking "bad" thoughts or expressing them is a victimless crime.  Any act which does not impair someone else in the exercise or enjoyment of their rights is victimless, and should never be subject to punishment by the state.

In the case being discussed, not only were there were no stolen credit cards, there was not even any intent to steal credit cards.  The two questions being presented are:

Is the actual act of money laundering a "victimless crime"?

Does the demonstrated willingness to commit money laundering have any "inherent victims"?

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anth0ny
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February 13, 2014, 05:16:50 PM
 #82

The question I'm attempting to answer is "Who's the victim?", not "What is the crime?"

Clearly, in this case, there is no specific victim.  The crime was imaginary and the victims nonexistent.  Similarly, if you tried to hire a hit man to "rub out the guy who ratted on me" and there was no actual rat, there would be no actual victim.  However, murder-for-hire is not a victimless crime.  It inherently intends to have a victim and where one exists, that victim will be harmed.

But what about attempted-murder-for-hire?

Similarly, selling stolen credit card numbers is inherently a crime where there are victims, if the crime is completed.

I generally interpret the term "victimless crime" to mean "crimes" where inherently, there are no victims.  So, for instance, purchasing drugs is a victimless crime.  Thinking "bad" thoughts or expressing them is a victimless crime.  Any act which does not impair someone else in the exercise or enjoyment of their rights is victimless, and should never be subject to punishment by the state.

So where does money laundering fall?
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February 13, 2014, 05:23:59 PM
 #83

The question I'm attempting to answer is "Who's the victim?", not "What is the crime?"

Clearly, in this case, there is no specific victim.  The crime was imaginary and the victims nonexistent.  Similarly, if you tried to hire a hit man to "rub out the guy who ratted on me" and there was no actual rat, there would be no actual victim.  However, murder-for-hire is not a victimless crime.  It inherently intends to have a victim and where one exists, that victim will be harmed.  Similarly, selling stolen credit card numbers is inherently a crime where there are victims, if the crime is completed.

I generally interpret the term "victimless crime" to mean "crimes" where inherently, there are no victims.  So, for instance, purchasing drugs is a victimless crime.  Thinking "bad" thoughts or expressing them is a victimless crime.  Any act which does not impair someone else in the exercise or enjoyment of their rights is victimless, and should never be subject to punishment by the state.

In the case being discussed, not only were there were no stolen credit cards, there was not even any intent to steal credit cards.

Yes, that's why I thought the bank robbery example was not very relevant.

A better analogy with bank robbery would be if an undercover cop gave the accused a stack of cash and said, lying, "I just stole this from the bank, here you take it". The charge: (attempted) receipt of stolen property.

Or in the case of murder, if an undercover cop gave the accused a mannequin in a body-bag and said "I just killed this guy, dump him in the river for me." The charge: (attemped) illegal disposal of human corpses.

In either case, I don't see who the victim is.
anth0ny
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February 13, 2014, 05:27:57 PM
 #84

A better analogy with bank robbery would be if an undercover cop gave the accused a stack of cash and said, lying, "I just stole this from the bank, here you take it". The charge: (attempted) receipt of stolen property.

Or in the case of murder, if an undercover cop gave the accused a mannequin in a body-bag and said "I just killed this guy, dump him in the river for me." The charge: (attemped) illegal disposal of human corpses.

In either case, I don't see who the victim is.

Another interesting hypothetical is whether or not those people who are praying for Obama to die can be charged with attempted murder. And if so, would that be a victimless crime? But that one isn't really analogous to the money laundering one.
DannyHamilton
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February 13, 2014, 05:39:32 PM
 #85

Yes, that's why I thought the bank robbery example was not very relevant.

A better analogy with bank robbery would be if an undercover cop gave the accused a stack of cash and said, lying, "I just stole this from the bank, here you take it". The charge: (attempted) receipt of stolen property.

Agreed that would be a better example.  More specifically, if the undercover cop contacted the accused and said, lying, "I just stole this cash from (and mentioned a bank that was widely reported to have been recently robbed), I'd like to use it to purchase (anything legal that the accused might be offering to sell)". Then after the accused agreed to the deal, returned a month later saying, lying, "Here's some more cash from another bank robbery that hasn't been reported by the news yet, can I buy more of (those same legal items that I bought last time)?"  The accused has demonstrated a willingness to accept stolen property in exchange for legal merchandise.

Are those actions victimless? Is that a crime?

From your worldview, I agree there is no victim there.  For some, the public at large are all inherent victims in the concept of money laundering or accepting stolen merchandise.  As such, there is at least an intended (or planned) victim of the actions of the accused.

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February 13, 2014, 05:41:24 PM
 #86

A better analogy with bank robbery would be if an undercover cop gave the accused a stack of cash and said, lying, "I just stole this from the bank, here you take it". The charge: (attempted) receipt of stolen property.

Or in the case of murder, if an undercover cop gave the accused a mannequin in a body-bag and said "I just killed this guy, dump him in the river for me." The charge: (attemped) illegal disposal of human corpses.

In either case, I don't see who the victim is.

Another interesting hypothetical is whether or not those people who are praying for Obama to die can be charged with attempted murder. And if so, would that be a victimless crime? But that one isn't really analogous to the money laundering one.

I like that one.  I'm saving that for the next time I'm having dinner with a group that I know has a wide range of political and social beliefs.  Should make for some very interesting conversation.

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February 13, 2014, 06:14:54 PM
 #87

Is the actual act of money laundering a "victimless crime"?

Considering that the crime itself is predicated on other crimes, I'd say it really depends on the crime the proceeds of which are laundered.

If, as in this case, the proceeds are presumably either from or going to be used to purchase stolen credit cards, yes, there are inherently victims in the actually completed crime, even if there are no actual victims.
anth0ny
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February 13, 2014, 06:19:04 PM
 #88

From your worldview, I agree there is no victim there.  For some, the public at large are all inherent victims in the concept of money laundering or accepting stolen merchandise.  As such, there is at least an intended (or planned) victim of the actions of the accused.

I'm not sure what the term "victimless crime" is supposed to mean under that point of view. You could say "the public at large are all inherent victims" of any crime.
anth0ny
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February 13, 2014, 06:22:47 PM
 #89

Another interesting hypothetical is whether or not those people who are praying for Obama to die can be charged with attempted murder. And if so, would that be a victimless crime? But that one isn't really analogous to the money laundering one.

I like that one.  I'm saving that for the next time I'm having dinner with a group that I know has a wide range of political and social beliefs.  Should make for some very interesting conversation.

Ah yes, make sure you also include a mixture of people who believe and people who don't believe in the power of prayer. Smiley
DannyHamilton
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February 13, 2014, 06:27:41 PM
 #90

From your worldview, I agree there is no victim there.  For some, the public at large are all inherent victims in the concept of money laundering or accepting stolen merchandise.  As such, there is at least an intended (or planned) victim of the actions of the accused.
I'm not sure what the term "victimless crime" is supposed to mean under that point of view. You could say "the public at large are all inherent victims" of any crime.

Exactly.  Many people are of that worldview.  The concept of a "victimless crime" only applies when someone is unwilling to view the public at large as a victim (or set of victims), many people feel that there is no such thing as a "victimless crime", since society (and therefore all members of society) is a victim of any crime.

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February 13, 2014, 06:45:04 PM
 #91

Why don't you ask one of these family members if drug cartels and money laundering used to support their activities are "victimless" crime.

in Mexico alone "more than 60,000 people were killed in drug-related violence from 2006 to 2012, according to Human Rights Watch."

http://www.cnn.com/2013/03/27/world/americas/mexico-violence
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February 13, 2014, 08:17:10 PM
 #92

Why don't you ask one of these family members if drug cartels and money laundering used to support their activities are "victimless" crime.

in Mexico alone "more than 60,000 people were killed in drug-related violence from 2006 to 2012, according to Human Rights Watch."

http://www.cnn.com/2013/03/27/world/americas/mexico-violence

It would be slightly more accurate to say that it is actually the US-led War on Drugs that supports their activities.

The number of homicides in big cities doubled after prohibition of alcohol went into effect in the 1930's. Al Capone, who controlled the liquor trade in Chicago, was the 1930's equivalent of a billionaire.

The number of homicides in Mexico has skyrocketed to 10,000+ per year due to prohibition of drugs.  El Chapo Guzman (leader of Sinaloa Cartel), who controls the drug trade in Chicago, is a billionaire.

Prohibition is the cause of the violence in Mexico.

All drugs should be legal and taxed, just like alcohol (a hard drug).

I agree with you there too bud.

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February 13, 2014, 08:56:17 PM
 #93

Why don't you ask one of these family members if drug cartels and money laundering used to support their activities are "victimless" crime.

I don't need to ask them.  I have logic.  As others have pointed out, when alcohol was prohibited, murder related to alcohol smuggling crimes skyrocketed.  Is drinking a beer therefore inherently a heinous crime? 

Obviously not.

Citing the costs prohibition itself creates is not a great argument for prohibition.  In fact, you just cited reasons prohibition is an abject failure and should be abandoned.
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February 14, 2014, 12:59:55 AM
 #94

Why don't you ask one of these family members if drug cartels and money laundering used to support their activities are "victimless" crime.

in Mexico alone "more than 60,000 people were killed in drug-related violence from 2006 to 2012, according to Human Rights Watch."

http://www.cnn.com/2013/03/27/world/americas/mexico-violence

You can completely support the "war on physically addicting drugs" and separate money laundering from the laws.  I've seen the destructiveness of physically addicting drugs on people's lives enough to hate the harm they cause, such as heroin and cocaine.  Marijuana does not have these issues, and is less harmful than alcohol, so, like alchohol, should be legal and taxed, with limited personal growth permitted since it is a plant. 

Now, when money laundering laws were introduced, they were introduced with the context you presented, to go after drug cartels.  They promised they would only be used to stop THEIR money laundering activities.  If I believed they could limit the reach to this purpose, I would of supported it hands down.  I would love to stop drug cartels.  But, I knew it was inevitable that what begins this way will eventually reach the common man.  The fact that they didn't tie the reporting thresholds to inflation guaranteed that increasingly small transactions from everyday citizens would be caught up in this, instead of drug cartels. 

Now today, not only are we discussing Espinoza, an ordinary citizen just buying and selling digital assets in transaction amounts that are less than a years wage for the average American, but other non-bitcoin related impacts to ordinary citizens, such as this women's new inability to get gas and diaper money to her son!  Did refusing to let her deposit $150 into her son's account stop drug cartels from importing cocaine into the United States? 

There comes a point when the victims are people like Espinoza, this woman and her son.  Clearly, she's a victim of our money laundering laws gone too far.  How do we hold the government accountable for taking away our freedoms?  When did our money become the government's money and the bank's money?  When did we give up the freedom to trade legal items between each other?  Bitcoins are legal, right?  Cash is legal, right?  Haven't Americans, since the founding of the USA, freely traded legal items without interference and opposition from our elected officials? 

We may differ on whether or not we want to stop the drug cartels.  We can differ on whether or not we want to legalize or continue to fight the importation of certain drugs.  Yet, I believe that vast majority of us can agree that bitcoin traders, this mother and her son should not be victims of money laundering laws!



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anth0ny
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February 14, 2014, 01:59:05 AM
 #95

All drugs should be legal and taxed, just like alcohol (a hard drug).

I agree with you there too bud.

I don't. All drugs should be legal and untaxed, including alcohol. Smiley
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February 14, 2014, 02:56:33 AM
 #96

All drugs should be legal and taxed, just like alcohol (a hard drug).

I agree with you there too bud.

I don't. All drugs should be legal and untaxed, including alcohol. Smiley

Haha agreed.  I don't think we can have our cake and eat it too though.
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February 14, 2014, 07:56:19 AM
 #97

Is buying stolen CC numbers a crime? Using the numbers would be but would possession of the numbers be illegal?

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February 14, 2014, 08:54:06 AM
 #98

Is buying stolen CC numbers a crime? Using the numbers would be but would possession of the numbers be illegal?

It should only be a crime of stupidity once the source of the DB dump is known to AmEx/Visa/MC/Discover. Why? Every time there is a hack of credit card number databases, all the credit card companies have to do is shitcan all the numbers with the merchant field of the transaction showing the hacked merchant. So for example, Target credit card hack: all credit cards with 'Target' charges made to them in the past 60 days, shitcan, issue new card number, 2 weeks later physical card arrives at cardholder's billing address.

Anybody buying a list of invalidated, now effectively random numbers (that they can't use for anything other than toilet paper) is stupid, but the prison industry would sure like to have them as another inmate to profit from.

Saying that you don't trust someone because of their behavior is completely valid.
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February 14, 2014, 04:27:05 PM
 #99

Is buying stolen CC numbers a crime? Using the numbers would be but would possession of the numbers be illegal?



You're seriously asking this?  Yes, of course it is.  18 U.S.C. § 1029 and a host of related statutes.  I'm not sure which is most commonly prosecuted, but seriously, you're asking if buying stolen credit numbers is a crime or not?  WTF?  Does it take a genius to realize it is?
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February 15, 2014, 01:41:37 AM
 #100

Is buying stolen CC numbers a crime? Using the numbers would be but would possession of the numbers be illegal?



You're seriously asking this?  Yes, of course it is.  18 U.S.C. § 1029 and a host of related statutes.  I'm not sure which is most commonly prosecuted, but seriously, you're asking if buying stolen credit numbers is a crime or not?  WTF?  Does it take a genius to realize it is?

I don't see anything about buying them. And I only see possession with intent to defraud mentioned.
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