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Hospitality Worker Guilty of $2.5B Bitcoin Money Laundering

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Hospitality Worker Guilty of $2.5B Bitcoin Money Laundering

A former takeaway worker in the UK has been found guilty of money laundering over $2.5 billion worth of Bitcoin. The Southwark Crown Court, which specializes in fraud cases, made the ruling after a five-year investigation that involved examining 48 electronic devices and thousands of digital files. Many of the files had to be translated from Mandarin. The authorities became suspicious of Jian Wen’s sudden change in lifestyle. In 2017, she went from living above a Chinese restaurant to renting a luxurious six-bedroom house in North London for over $21,000 a month. During the same year, she also tried to buy expensive properties in London but faced difficulties passing money-laundering checks despite her claims of earning millions from Bitcoin mining.

The UK police have hailed this seizure as the largest of its kind in the country. Jian Wen is scheduled to be sentenced on May 10. Andrew Penhale, the chief crown prosecutor at the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS), highlighted the rising use of digital assets in criminal activity, stating that cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin are increasingly being used by organized criminals to hide and transfer their assets.

Interestingly, a recent report by the United States Treasury Department contradicts the authorities’ common belief that cryptocurrencies are the go-to choice for money laundering. According to the report, criminals and transnational criminal organizations still prefer cash for their illicit transactions. The Treasury Department emphasized that the anonymity and stability of cash make it a more favorable means of laundering illicit proceeds.

This conflicting information raises questions about the extent to which cryptocurrencies are truly being used for money laundering. While Jian Wen’s case suggests that Bitcoin was involved in a significant laundering operation, the US Treasury Department’s report implies that cash remains the most popular option for criminals. It is clear, That authorities are increasingly focusing their efforts on tackling financial crimes involving digital assets. The investigation into Jian Wen’s activities serves as a reminder that cryptocurrencies, despite their perceived anonymity, are not immune to scrutiny and detection by law enforcement agencies.

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