Wall Street Journal reports that Charlie Shrem plans on pleading guilty to charges of operating an unlicensed money transmission business as part of a plea deal with prosecutors.
Shrem was arrested in January and was also charged with money laundering and failure to report suspicious activity reports. The case had been scheduled to go to trial September 22. He plans on entering the plea in federal court in Manhattan this week.
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Shrem plans of moving full steam ahead on continuing his work in Bitcoin. Even while under house arrest, he began consulting for Payza and worked with two New York-area Holiday Inns on their accepting of Bitcoin for payments. Shrem said, “My life is not ending here. I’m overall happy and satisfied.”
Shrem has thus emerged from the prospect of a maximum of 30 years in prison to possibly walking away with a slap on the wrist. His defense was methodically and unrelentingly fought by his legal team, which helped Shrem lead a relatively normal life through their negotiation for relaxed terms of house arrest. His team also did not resort to attempts to have the case dismissed based on arguments claiming the non-applicability of laws to their clients’ activities, as found in the parallel Faiella and Ulbricht cases.
He isn’t totally out of the woods yet. Ahead of the expected sentencing over the next few months, he will ask members of the Bitcoin community to write letters on his behalf to the judge presiding over the case, Jed S Rakoff.