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Author Topic: BurtW arrested (update: charges dropped!)  (Read 74308 times)
Window2Wall
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March 21, 2015, 11:46:31 PM
 #441

BurtW was arrested on October 14, 2014, and bitmixer's forum auction bid was rejected by theymos without explination on December 7, 2014 (only 3 weeks later). This would fit a timeline of theymos getting some kind of subpoena asking for information about both the bitmixer.io account and the BurtW account, and if bitmixer.io was compromised as part of the arrest, it would fit the rough timeline that it would take for the government to take over the service and familiarize themselves with a good way to track all the coins that pass through it.

Interesting. I wonder if theymos can give us an explanation of his rejection.

Hey theymos are mixers banned from advertising on this forum or were you under pressure to reject that particular ad?
I don't think theymos is going to give any explanation regarding the rejection. A thread was opened shortly after the bid was rejected asking about the rejection and he never responded in the thread.
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March 22, 2015, 12:50:36 AM
 #442

I don't think theymos is going to give any explanation regarding the rejection. A thread was opened shortly after the bid was rejected asking about the rejection and he never responded in the thread.

It seems that I was aware of the thread, but I forgot about it.

I think that the forum should be aware if no mixers are allowed to advertise or if it's an issue with that specific one which is totally understandable.

H/w Hosting Directory & Reputation - https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=622998.0
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March 22, 2015, 01:54:06 AM
 #443

BurtW's indictment was filed on 2014 oct 07 in the US District Court for Colorado. On the same day, at least three other cryptocurrency related cases were filed in that same court, with the same special agent Arran McWhirter, with the same prosecuting attorney of Michele Korver, all offenses listed as occurring in Boulder County:

14-cr-00398 USA v Burton Wagner
18 USC 1960
Count 1: Operation of Unlicensed Money Transmitting Business

14-cr-00399 USA v Sean Swanson
18 USC 1960
Count 1: Operation of Unlicensed Money Transmitting Business

14-cr-00400 USA v Michael Seiler
18 USC 1956 (a)(3)(B) and (C)
18 USC 1960
Count 1: Money Laundering
Count 2: Operation of Unlicensed Money Transmitting Business

14-cr-00401 USA v Katherine Noland and Thomas Noland
18 USC 1956 (a)(3)(B) and (C)
18 USC 1960
18 USC 2
Count 1: Money Laundering (Katherine)
Count 2: Operation of Unlicensed Money Transmitting Business (Katherine and Thomas)

In all four of these indictments, the text of the Operation of Unlicensed Money Transmitting Business count is essentially identical, differing only in the opening sentence naming the time period of the offenses, and in where the offenses occurred.

The Money Laundering counts for the latter two cases (Seiler and Noland) specifically mention 'distribution of controlled substances'.

Source: US Courts' PACER documentation system https://www.pacer.gov

--------------------

By omission of the 'controlled substances' count in BurtW's indictment, I deduce that no drugs are involved in his case.

It seems unlikely that these other parties were involved in the Pirate PassThroughs, so BurtW's case is likely unrelated to this.

It seems BurtW truly is simply accused of buying and selling Bitcoin. Or rather, operating an unlicensed Bitcoin transmitting business. Funny - I thought transmittal required three parties. While I don't know, I didn't think BurtW did Bitcoin transmittal.

Anyone with a campaign ad in their signature -- for an organization with which they are not otherwise affiliated -- is automatically deducted credibility points.

I've been convicted of heresy. Convicted by a mere known extortionist. Read my Trust for details.
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March 22, 2015, 03:29:52 AM
Last edit: March 22, 2015, 04:53:42 AM by QuestionAuthority
 #444

Wow, that was good work. At least we now know Burt will be fine. I can't imagine he will serve hard time for unlicensed money transmitting. If he's lucky they will just take all of his money away and give him probation.

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March 22, 2015, 03:34:08 AM
 #445

BurtW's indictment was filed on 2014 oct 07 in the US District Court for Colorado. On the same day, at least three other cryptocurrency related cases were filed in that same court, with the same special agent Arran McWhirter, with the same prosecuting attorney of Michele Korver, all offenses listed as occurring in Boulder County:

14-cr-00398 USA v Burton Wagner
18 USC 1960
Count 1: Operation of Unlicensed Money Transmitting Business

14-cr-00399 USA v Sean Swanson
18 USC 1960
Count 1: Operation of Unlicensed Money Transmitting Business

14-cr-00400 USA v Michael Seiler
18 USC 1956 (a)(3)(B) and (C)
18 USC 1960
Count 1: Money Laundering
Count 2: Operation of Unlicensed Money Transmitting Business

14-cr-00401 USA v Katherine Noland and Thomas Noland
18 USC 1956 (a)(3)(B) and (C)
18 USC 1960
18 USC 2
Count 1: Money Laundering (Katherine)
Count 2: Operation of Unlicensed Money Transmitting Business (Katherine and Thomas)

In all four of these indictments, the text of the Operation of Unlicensed Money Transmitting Business count is essentially identical, differing only in the opening sentence naming the time period of the offenses, and in where the offenses occurred.

The Money Laundering counts for the latter two cases (Seiler and Noland) specifically mention 'distribution of controlled substances'.

Source: US Courts' PACER documentation system https://www.pacer.gov

--------------------

By omission of the 'controlled substances' count in BurtW's indictment, I deduce that no drugs are involved in his case.

It seems unlikely that these other parties were involved in the Pirate PassThroughs, so BurtW's case is likely unrelated to this.

It seems BurtW truly is simply accused of buying and selling Bitcoin. Or rather, operating an unlicensed Bitcoin transmitting business. Funny - I thought transmittal required three parties. While I don't know, I didn't think BurtW did Bitcoin transmittal.
Do you think you could possibly post the complains in all these cases, as well as any potentially relevant documents in the BurtW case? (in PDF format) I know that it costs $0.07 per page and I can reimburse you if you want.

Bitcoin
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March 23, 2015, 02:40:07 PM
 #446

Interesting to know if any or all of these other cases were people *confirmed* to be working on LocalBitcoins.com too... or if they were doing things some other way?

Is this all just some kind of big one-hit sweeping LBC roll-up attempt in Colorado?

Can anyone correlate with known LBC accounts, or (even better) get some info directly from these other parties in this whole situation?  Any Colorado area bitcoin LBC buyers here?

Also wonder if they're all working together with Burt's family and the same lawyers (?) to mount a coordinated reply/reaction to this (clearly, to me) extreme over-reach by LE and prosecutors.  If NOT, they probably SHOULD be.

KEV
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March 29, 2015, 03:52:46 AM
 #447

we also need participation (for bitcoin's sake)  here:  https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=1005634.0


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March 29, 2015, 04:14:40 AM
 #448

"The essential principle of totalitarianism is to make laws that are impossible to obey." -- Christopher Hitchens

This is exactly the situation with regard to bitcoin in the US.  Fortunately bitcoin (just like encryption) is covered by the second amendment of the US Constitution.  The US has bragged about its ability to use economic weapons, so much that citizens need something like bitcoin to protect themselves from tyranny.
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March 31, 2015, 06:27:35 AM
 #449

"The essential principle of totalitarianism is to make laws that are impossible to obey." -- Christopher Hitchens

This is exactly the situation with regard to bitcoin in the US.  Fortunately bitcoin (just like encryption) is covered by the second amendment of the US Constitution.  The US has bragged about its ability to use economic weapons, so much that citizens need something like bitcoin to protect themselves from tyranny.

Hmm... i see. I still cannot understand this fiasco completely, i have read a few pages of this post.
My questions / thoughts are:

1) Bitcoin cannot be branded illegal since they are being sold by the USMS service, if they brand it illegal, it means that the government itself is illegal?
2) How does trading on LB cause the transaction to be illegal? I have sold small amounts of BTC on LB and bought up a bit too... does this mean i have been doing something illegal? Is LB itself Illegal?
3) As i understand, BurtW was selling huge amounts of BTC on behalf of clients without a license. How is this illegal if the government cannot decide if BTC is indeed a Currency or Asset. If it is an asset, how is it illegal to sell an asset for cash (isn't it the same as selling some gold or real estate for cash)? His only wrong-doing was to not pay taxes on his transactions as far as i can see?

I ask these questions as any normal user like me and you could be next and i wouldn't want to be in that mans shoes! Sad

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March 31, 2015, 07:36:06 AM
 #450

Burt did not have clients.  He bought and sold for himself as an investment akin to buying stocks.  Taxes are not an issue.  The prosecutor is arguing that you must have a business license even if you only buy and sell for yourself.  There is no transmittal to a third party.  The case makes no sense.  AUSA Korver is trying to make a name for herself and is gunning for bitcoin traders.  FinCEN and Korver are at odds.  What she is doing is not authorized by Congress. The Judicial Dept is acting on its own to fund its Asset Forfeiture Fund.  Korver's ambition and greed have caused our family irreparable harm.


Thank you for clarifying this! As i can see, there is no real case against Burt. If they are successful in getting a conviction it would mean that any one of us who trade in Bitcoin, whether through LB or not, is liable to be prosecuted and convicted. That does not bode well for any of us.  Shocked

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March 31, 2015, 09:15:14 AM
 #451

Today BurtW has posted this :


The www.burtw.com web site is real.  It was put up by my wife (JeanW on here now).  To answer some questions posted above:  I traded on localbitcoins.com.  The prosecutor in the case claims I needed a business money transmittal license to do that.  Instead of just notifying me that they though I might need a license they have charged me with a felony which could mean up to 5 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.  

Because I had to hire TWO law firms, one for the criminal case and another one for the civil forfeiture case, so far, defending myself against the charge of not having a license in order to trade on localbitcoins has cost me almost $200,000.  This is a large chunk of our retirement fund and our daughters college fund.  This does not count the property (Bitcoins, cash, etc.) I may have to forfeit in civil forfeiture.

My family could really use your help so if you are in a giving mood please donate Bitcoins or that fiat stuff at www.BurtW.com

A bit more information can be found there.

Thanks!

PS:  http://www.cnn.com/2015/03/30/politics/federal-agents-charged-with-stealing-bitcoin/index.html

Made me laugh and I have not laughed for a long time.
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April 02, 2015, 10:14:13 PM
 #452

You will have to prove that you are not an undercover federal agent before we converse.  A good test is if you understand the Bill of Rights.  If you do, you probably aren't an agent.

LOL'd hard  Smiley
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April 02, 2015, 10:29:40 PM
 #453

Lesson learned, tips for the future (USA residents only):

Execute trades below the daily threshold ($1000), keep updated with new or updated laws. (According to my interpretation of FinCEN)

Keep yourself updated with state laws as well. They are out to put people in jail as well.  Wink

My conspiracy theory is that the government doesn't want any of us to become billionaires overnight and tries hard to limit the earnings of every business.


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April 02, 2015, 10:59:03 PM
 #454

My conspiracy theory is that the government doesn't want any of us to become billionaires overnight and tries hard to limit the earnings of every business.
They want their cut, whatever they decide that to be.
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April 02, 2015, 11:19:11 PM
 #455

Hello,

I have been asked not post to Bitcointalk.org for the time being.  The federal agents that are spying on the Bitcoin world report back to AUSA Korver whenever I post and AUSA Korver gives Burt's attorney an earful.

Feel free to contact me at 303-875-1317.  You will have to prove that you are not an undercover federal agent before we converse.  A good test is if you understand the Bill of Rights.  If you do, you probably aren't an agent.


Thanks, Jean
www.jmwagner.com
www.burtw.com


"Your husband is a horrible horrible man and you probably are too" -- S.A. Arran McWhirter, the day he seized a little girl's life savings.

I understand what you are going through now. Would u mind just to tell us, whether he was arrested cash transaction or online transaction through LocalBitcoins ? Please correct me if my information regarding the use of LocalBitcoins is wrong.

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April 02, 2015, 11:32:40 PM
 #456

I wonder how many of the newbies posting on this thread are undercover law enforcement trying to get Burt/Jean to give up information that should not be shared publicly (and of course use it against Burt).


I am also curious to know how much above the market price undercover law enforcement agents were allegedly willing to pay for the bitcoin from Burt. Was it significantly above the market price, prices that you would generally not expect to get from most people?

Bitcoin
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April 03, 2015, 12:49:45 AM
 #457

I was looking to donate, but... Why they're using a Coinbase wallet to receive the bitcoins? It sounds a very bad idea for me...
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April 03, 2015, 12:52:52 AM
 #458

what's wrong with using CoinBase?
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April 03, 2015, 12:56:34 AM
 #459

I was looking to donate, but... Why they're using a Coinbase wallet to receive the bitcoins? It sounds a very bad idea for me...
Why is that a bad idea? They obviously need fiat so they are going to convert any bitcoin they receive into fiat ASAP in order to pay their legal bills

Bitcoin
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April 03, 2015, 12:57:01 AM
 #460

"Your husband is a horrible horrible man and you probably are too" -- S.A. Arran McWhirter, the day he seized a little girl's life savings.

Failed logic. It's worrying that they would make an baseless accusation like that. I would expect better from someone with the power to seize assets. Also if that quote is correct it's a language failure as well, unless S.A. Arran McWhirter honestly believes you're male.


So (watch the strawman coming) if we're in fallacy land I'll go ad ridiculum.

I'm on the same forum as Jean and Burt - one already determined to be horrible, the other probably horrible - so I am probably horrible too. Hey, I'm on twitter and facebook too. Guess who else is on Twitter and facebook!? The president of the USA! He must be horrible too (do some searching, there are countless sources actually confirming this ;-) ). S.A. Arran McWhirter willingly and knowingly works under them! They must be horrible too!

S.A. Arran McWhirter, you are an horrible man and your husband probably is too.


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