Coinbase was used by a drug ring to launder crypto from jail
A UK court sentenced the ringleaders of a £4.6 million ($5.2 million) narcotics enterprise to a total of 88 years in prison for their roles in the scheme, which included using relatives and friends of inmates to launder earnings using Coinbase.
The 12-member gang was convicted on Thursday at Cardiff Crown Court for dealing more than 40 kilogrammes of cocaine, ecstasy, ketamine, and other class-A narcotics, as reported by Nation Cymru.
Amir Khan, the 30-year-old ringleader, put $2.1 million, or 1.65 million pounds, into crypto. The court said that it was probable that part of the lost money would never be found. In fact, more than $176,000 (or £153,520) worth of cryptocurrency has vanished from a wallet.
Joshua Billingham, Khan’s co-leader, is claimed to have supervised his 29-year-old girlfriend Stacey Challenger through the operation, although her defence attorneys contended that she was “naive” and followed his guidance.
The court did not agree and said that she decided to live a criminal lifestyle knowing what she was getting herself into.
A money counting machine, £10k in expensive clothing, and a Range Rover were among the items discovered by police during a search of the couple’s Welsh home.
Khan was sentenced to twenty years and seven months in jail for his role in a narcotics trafficking and money laundering conspiracy. The court said that Khan’s crimes were “truly staggering.”
Billingham got a sentence of 14 years and 8 months in jail for laundering £300,000 and plotting to convert it to crypto, whereas Challenger received a term of only one year.