Today, the 24-year-old, Charlie Shrem, has pleaded not guilty to money laundering charges in front of a judge in Manhattan federal court. Shrem was the former vice chairman of the Bitcoin Foundation, and the former CEO of BitInstant.
Charlie Shrem was arrested back in January, soon after the government seized the black market site Silk Road. It was on Silk Road where Shrem was alleged with laundering over $1 million in bitcoin. He was also charged with buying illegal drugs on the black market site.
He and 52-year-old Robert Faiella both pleaded not guilty at today’s hearing. Both were accused of conducting illegal activities on Silk Road.
Faiella’s lawyer, David Braun, has requested that the case be moved to Florida. Judge Jed Rakoff is currently weighing in the suggestion. Braun states:
“No essential elements of conduct of Mr. Faiella occurred in the Southern District of New York.“
The New York native, Shrem, could serve up to 20 years in prison if he is found guilty. After the hearing, Shrem’s lawyer, Marc Agnofilo, declined to comment on the situation.
Shrem in the Public Eye
Though he has some serious charges pitted against him, Charlie Shrem has not folded his cards. His commitment to the bitcoin industry was proven, last week, at the Tribeca Film Festival. Shrem was able to attend under a court ordered ankle bracelet, serving as surveillance.
At the event, Shrem took part in a Q&A panel after the showing of a documentary he co-starred in, titled: The Rise and Rise of Bitcoin. The film depicts the history of bitcoin, as well as some of the most recognized people to work utilize it first hand.
In the documentary, Shrem shows fear and concern over the digital currency’s regulatory rulings, and how they may lead him to going to jail. He said:
“I talk to lawyers every day so I won’t go to jail. I don’t want to go to jail. It’s terrifying.”
Even with all of the chaos surrounding Shrem, he remains hopeful that bitcoin will continue to mature, and that the world will see great things come of it.
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