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DOJ continues scrutiny of underground market sellers, arrests arms vendor

John Ribeiro | Nov. 11, 2013
The U.S. DOJ has arrested a seller on 'Black Market Reloaded' for alleged illegal weapons sale.

Officials seized the package containing the Smith & Wesson. The USPS tracking number on the package matched the number provided by Crisafi, who was identified by USPS staff in New Hampshire as the person who shipped the package believed to contain the Smith & Wesson to an overseas destination on May 21, the complaint said. Following the transaction, Crisafi and the agent allegedly negotiated the sale of more weapons. Crisafi accepted payment through both Western Union and bitcoin for the firearms, according to the complaint.

Crisafi has been charged on three counts, including the alleged "unlicensed sale of firearms; smuggling of firearms from the United States to an overseas destination; and conspiring to commit money laundering in connection with firearms trafficking activities."

Bitcoin, suspected of being used by criminals because of the anonymity it offers, has also come under scrutiny by regulators in some countries. The currency is, however, at the same time, being recognized by a number of businesses and agencies. The U.S. Federal Election Commission in a draft advisory, made available for comment on Thursday, is recommending that bitcoins can be accepted as in-kind campaign contributions, though disallowing disbursements through bitcoins from a bitcoin wallet.

"Thus, because Bitcoins are neither the currency of any country nor negotiable instruments, Bitcoins are not 'money' under commission regulations," according to the advisory in response to the Conservative Action Fund, a non-connected political committee.

Tom Carper, U.S. Senator for Delaware and chairman of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, said, in reference to a report in Politico, that the FEC proposal underscores what his committee, which is looking into the use of virtual currencies, has recognized for some time: that virtual currencies are not going away, and can potentially have far-reaching implications for the U.S. federal government and society as a whole.

 

 

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