On July 9, 2018, Theresa Lynn Tetley, a former stockbroker and real estate investor known as the “Bitcoin Maven,” was sentenced to one year in prison. In a first-of-its-kind case, the Central District of California alleged that Tetley offered “bitcoin-for-cash exchange services” without properly registering as a money services business with the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (“FinCEN”). Tetley pleaded guilty to one count of operating an unlicensed money transmitting business and one count of money laundering. According to the government, Tetley exchanged between $6 and $9.5 million for customers across the country and charged rates higher than institutions registered with FinCEN. As a result of her illegal activity, Tetely allegedly facilitated laundering for an individual suspected of receiving bitcoin from unlawful activity, such as drug sales on the dark web.
United States v. Theresa Lynn Tetley, 17-cr-00738 (C.D. Cal.)