A Bitcoin ATM service provider’s headquarters in Lisle, Illinois, was raided by authorities over crypto fraud allegations.
According to a local news publication, shortly after the raid on S&P Solutions offices in Lisle, the company’s COO issued a statement. He said the company was “collaborating with the authorities in Ohio for an ongoing investigation that they’re conducting.”
Cleveland prosecutors revealed in a news conference that S&P Solutions, also known as Bitcoin of America, operated crypto kiosks that were used to defraud millions of dollars from victims. Cuyahoga County Assistant Prosecutor Andrew Rogalski stated:
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Cryptocurrency is money, and if you’re a money transmitter in Ohio, you need to have a license. Bitcoin of America does not have a license.
Authorities seized over 50 crypto ATMs belonging to Bitcoin of America in Cuyahoga and Lorain counties. According to prosecutors, Bitcoin of America took a 20% fee off the top of every illegal transaction using their machines. Cleveland Secret Service Director Blaine Forshen stated:
Because of Bitcoin of America’s lack of safeguards, criminals worldwide have used the company to receive payments and illicit funds to criminals in the US and across the world. Scammers, robocallers, and international organized crime groups have capitalized on the company’s lack of compliance and licensing.
The CEO of Bitcoin of America, Sonny Meraban, his father, Reza Meraban, and their attorney William Soriana, have been arrested. Three individuals are charged with dozens of counts of money laundering, conspiracy, and licensing violations regarding their Ohio crypto ATMs.
Prosecutors identified at least eight victims in Northeast Ohio. The authorities are urging all individuals affected by the matter to come forward. Victims can file a police report at their local police department or file a complaint at the FTC website to “get the ball rolling.”
According to a 2022 press release by Bitcoin of America, the company runs over 2,500 crypto ATMs across 31 states in the United States.