A Folsom based bitcoin investment firm has made a deal with Federal prosecutors in the face of criminal charges for conspiring to violate the Bank Secrecy Act, according to officials with the United States District Attorney’s Office, District of California.

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Amani Investments LLC, which has a registered business suite at 1024 Iron Point Road in Folsom, which operated Coinucopia kiosks that exchanged U.S. currency for Bitcoin, has forfeited $1 million in currency, a Mercedes-Benz, Bitcoin, and other items for its criminal efforts to avoid reporting requirements under the Bank Secrecy Act, according to U.S. Attorney Phillip A. Talbert.

In February of 2023, Amani Investments LLC, doing business as Coinucopia, pleaded guilty to conspiring to avoid filing Currency Transaction Reports (CTRs) that are required under federal law, according to the investigation.  The federal Bank Secrecy Act was enacted by Congress to combat the laundering of criminal proceeds, and it requires money services businesses to report each transaction involving more than $10,000 in currency.  Willful violation of the requirement to file these reports, commonly called CTRs, is a federal criminal offense.

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According to court documents, on multiple occasions Amani Investments exchanged over $10,000 in U.S. currency for Bitcoin without filing a CTR, as required by the Bank Secrecy Act.  Many transactions were conducted during face-to-face exchanges of more than $10,000 in cash for Bitcoin with a Managing Officer of Amani Investments, all without the filing of a CTR.  In total, approximately $1 million was involved in the crime.  Today the court finalized Amani Investments’ forfeiture order, which included a Mercedes-Benz E63, Bitcoin, gold coins, and $1 million in United States currency. 

“Federal currency transaction reporting requirements are intended to protect our financial system from the influx of criminal proceeds,”  said U.S. Attorney Phillip A. Talbert for the Eastern District of California.  “The U.S. Attorney’s Office will continue to hold accountable those who seek to evade these requirements.”

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“Today’s sentence holds Amani Investments, dba Coinucopia, a registered Money Service Business, accountable for violating the Bank Secrecy Act,” said Tatum King, Special Agent in Charge, HSI San Francisco / NorCal. “We know that money is the lifeblood of criminals as evidenced by the $1 million forfeiture, which is why it is a primary focus for HSI across all of our investigative programs.  We appreciate the work of HSI personnel with FBI, USPIS, DEA, IRS-CI, USAO Eastern District, and Sacramento County Sheriff’s Office who worked this multi-year case collaboratively and resulted in the substantial forfeiture of ill-gotten gains.”

According to Talbert, the case is a product of an investigation by Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), as part of the Northern California Illicit Digital Economy (NCIDE) Task Force, consisting of agents from HSI, the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Internal Revenue Service – Criminal Investigation, the U.S. Postal Service Office of Inspector General, and the Drug Enforcement Administration. 

The NCIDE Task Force is a joint, federal task force focused on targeting all forms of dark web and cryptocurrency criminal activity in the Eastern District of California. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Robert C. Abendroth and Veronica M.A. Alegría prosecuted the case.

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