Article: Freeman considered flight risk, remains locked up

Article - Media, Publications

Freeman considered flight risk, remains locked up

Damien Fisher,  30 March 2021

CONCORD, NH – Free Keene leader Ian Freeman isn’t getting out of prison pending trial on federal money laundering charges after Judge Andrea Johnstone found he is a flight risk, and he poses a risk to the community.

Part of the allegations against Freeman is that he was laundering money through his Bitcoin business and Shire Free Church that criminal scammers got through various crimes. Johnston writes that Freeman knew for years his business was under investigation and that did not stop him from allegedly doing more harm. Continue reading “Article: Freeman considered flight risk, remains locked up”

Article: Six arrested in connection with Bitcoin ATM money laundering

Article - Media, Publications

Six arrested in connection with Bitcoin ATM money laundering

Diebold Nixdorf, 24 March 2021

The FBI arrested six people in the town of Keene, New Hampshire, on money laundering charges. Agents removed a Bitcoin ATM from a local bar believed to be used in the crime, according to a report in the New Hampshire Union Leader.

Included in the six arrested was Aria DiMezzo, 34 of Keene, who ran for Cheshire County Sheriff in 2020, and Ian Freeman, believed to be the leader of the group calling itself Free Keene.

The group was brought up on charges related to an unlicensed cryptocurrency exchange that they allegedly ran through churches.

Additionally, DiMezzo was charged with participating in a conspiracy to operate an unlicensed money-transmitting business. Continue reading “Article: Six arrested in connection with Bitcoin ATM money laundering”

Article: Free Keene leaders arrested for money laundering in FBI raids; illegal Bitcoin exchange alleged

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Free Keene leaders arrested for money laundering in FBI raids; illegal Bitcoin exchange alleged

Damien Fisher and Josie Albertson-Grove, 16 March 2021

Six people involved with the libertarian Free Keene group are facing charges — including wire fraud and money laundering — related to an unlicensed cryptocurrency exchange that federal prosecutors said processed some $10 million since 2016.

Prosecutors say the six people ran an unlicensed online exchange that let people swap dollars for Bitcoin, and collected fees for their service.

The six charged are Ian Freeman (formerly Ian Bernard), 40, of Keene; Colleen Fordham, 60, of Alstead; Renee Spinella, 23, of Derry; Andrew Spinella, 35, of Derry; Nobody (formerly Richard Paul), 52, of Keene; and Aria DiMezzo, 34, of Keene, who ran for Cheshire County sheriff in 2020.

The cryptocurrency exchange used bank accounts that purported to be for churches, lied to banks and told customers to lie to banks to keep up the ruse, prosecutors said in an indictment.

Beginning in the spring of 2016, prosecutors said, the group opened bank accounts for the Shire Free Church, the Crypto Church of New Hampshire, the Church of the Invisible Hand and the Reformed Satanic Church.

Freeman told the Union Leader earlier this year that the Bitcoin transaction business funds the activities of the Shire Free Church.

Freeman said one of his bank accounts was frozen last year as part of an investigation. He acknowledged there is fraud in the Bitcoin world, but said he was not part of that type of business.

“I’ve got what I think are pretty good procedures,” he said.

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