Claiming flight risk, judge orders Free Keene activist held until bitcoin money laundering trial
Mark Hayward New Hampshire Union Leader, 30 March 2021
CONCORD — Free Keene activist and cryptocurrency trader Ian Freeman will remain behind bars as he awaits trial on charges of money laundering, fraud and other financial crimes, a magistrate judge ruled Monday.
In a 17-page order that lays out the decision, Judge Andrea Johnstone said she is not confident that a freed Freeman will show up for trial in the future. She also feared that his freedom could allow his alleged crimes to continue.
During a hearing earlier this month, prosecutors described the wealth Freeman has built up in his exchange business, including 28 bitcoins, a $1.6 million cache this is almost impossible to trace and can be accessed anywhere. Continue reading “Article: Claiming flight risk, judge orders Free Keene activist held until bitcoin money laundering trial”
Prosecutor: Alleged money launderer Ian Freeman holds $1.6 million in Bitcoins
Mark Hayward New Hampshire Union Leader, 19 March 2021
CONCORD — Free-Keene leader Ian Freeman has accessed $1.66 million worth of Bitcoins and had $178,000 in cash in his safe when his house was raided by federal authorities this week, prosecutors said on Friday.
Federal prosecutors also said Freeman has access to gold, silver, and possibly other liquid assets and cryptocurrencies. Freeman — who faces eight felony charges including money laundering, wire fraud and conspiracy — could tap those assets and use them to flee if a judge releases him on bail, prosecutors warned.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Georgina MacDonald voiced those concerns during an hour-plus bail hearing streamed live Friday from U.S. District Court in Concord.
The hearing ended with Judge Magistrate Andrea Johnstone deferring a decision and promising a written order as soon as possible.
On Tuesday, the FBI arrested Freeman and five others who are part of the libertarian Free Keene movement on charges related to a Bitcoin-dollar exchange system they ran through churches they were closely affiliated with.
Freeman is the only one to face charges of money laundering and operating a continuing financial crimes enterprise, which call for mandatory minimum sentences of 10 years.
MacDonald termed Freeman a sophisticated cybercriminal.
Close to 70 people, including media, FBI agents and some with cryptic names, logged on for the hearing. Freeman participated via video feed from Merrimack County jail.
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