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US Attorney Seeks 7-year Sentence for Exec in Crypto Shadow Banking Case

Prosecutors in the United States are seeking a lengthy term for an executive in a crypto shadow banking case that has gone on for five years. On April 18, U.S. District Attorney Damian Williams submitted a request in advance of Reginald Fowler’s sentence on April 20.

In 2019, Fowler, the former minority owner of the Minnesota Vikings NFL franchise, was arrested and charged with bank fraud, unlawful money transfers, and conspiracy to engage in shadow banking practices in connection with his alleged operation of an unlicensed money transmission firm.

Williams is asking a sentence of at least seven years in jail on behalf of the government. However, he proposed a sentence of 15 to 20 years in order to represent the gravity of the offense. In 2018, Fowler founded Global Trading Solutions (GTS) under the aegis of the Panama-based Crypto Capital Corp, an accused crypto shadow bank.

He was accused of defrauding financial institutions and acting as an unregistered money transmitter. He allegedly provides shadow banking services to multiple cryptocurrency exchanges, including Bitfinex, Binance, CEX.io, and QuadrigaCX, through Crypto Capital.

According to the petition, GTS and Crypto Capital processed over $750 million in cryptocurrency transactions between February and October 2018, providing unlicensed crypto companies with illegal access to the US banking system.

The CEO of Crypto Capital, Ivan Manuel Molina Lee, was arrested in 2019 on charges of money laundering and involvement in a Columbian drug cartel. Crypto Capital played an important role in the court case involving Bitfinex’s failure to disclose the loss of $850 million in customer cash. In February 2022, the firms were forced to pay $18.5 million in civil penalties and to shut their New York trading operations.

In 2020, Fowler pled not guilty to all counts and was released on $5 million bond; but, in April 2022, he reentered a guilty plea. “Reginald Fowler has committed serious crimes,” Williams concluded as his sentencing date approached. Only a significant period of incarceration, of at least 84 months, could represent that gravity, foster law-abiding behavior, and provide effective deterrence.” Fowler requested a six-month delay in September 2022, alleging a serious medical ailment.

 

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