Barry University associate economics professor Charles Evans declared that bitcoin isn’t real money in the money-laundering case against Michell Espinoza, International Business Times reported.
Espinoza was arrested in 2014 for attempted money-laundering when he and Pascal Reid sold bitcoin to undercover FBI agents who claimed they would use the money to buy stolen credit cards. The bitcoin sold was worth $1,500.
Evans spoke on behalf of Espinoza and explained he didn’t think that bitcoin is real money. The Miami Herald reported that Evans said, “Basically, it’s poker chips that people are willing to buy from you.” Evans also pointed out that no central bank backs bitcoin, and that regulation within the United States is scattered and nonuniform. The IRS considers trading with bitcoin as bartering.
Evans was paid in bitcoin worth $3,000 to speak as a defense witness.
The ruling by Miami-Dade Circuit Judge Teresa Mary Pooler, who stated this case is the most “fascinating thing” she’s heard in a courtroom in some time, won’t be made for another few weeks.