A Nevada man has acknowledged to participating in the money laundering plan for the Bitclub Network, a $722 million fake crypto operation.
Gordon Brad Beckstead of Henderson, Nevada, pled guilty Friday in connection with the Bitclub Network scheme, the US Department of Justice reported.
Beckstead, 57, entered a plea of guilty by videoconference in a Newark, New Jersey, court hearing on Friday, according to a news release from the Internal Revenue Service’s Las Vegas Field Office.
He faces a potential sentence of 23 years in jail and a fine of $600,000 on the money laundering conspiracy charge and the charge of assisting in the preparation of a fraudulent tax return.
Nevada Man In Hot Water
Between April 2014 and December 2019, the DOJ announcement noted, the phony BitClub Network solicited money from investors in exchange for shares in a bogus cryptocurrency mining pool. Investors were compensated for bringing in new investors.
Matthew Brent Goettsche, the developer and operator of the BitClub Network, Russ Albert Medlin, Silviu Catalin Balaci, Joseph Frank Abel and Jobadiah Sinclair Weeks were all indicted in December 2019 for their roles in the scheme.
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Beckstead, at the direction of Goettsche, created and controlled numerous entities that were used by Beckstead, Goettsche, and others to conceal Goettsche’s association with the BitClub Network and to hide income earned by Goettsche through his operation of the BitClub Network, according to a news release from the US Attorney’s Office for the District of New Jersey.
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Beckstead, a former certified public accountant (CPA), assisted in the preparation of Goettsche’s fake federal tax returns for 2017 and 2018, which enabled him to avoid paying more than $20 million in federal income taxes.
The Nevada man testified to the DOJ that he was aware the reports were fraudulent in that they omitted to record more than $60 million in income collected from the Bitclub Network’s operation.
The Department of Justice clarified:
“Money laundering is punishable by up to 20 years in prison and a fine of up to $500,000, or twice the value of the property involved in the transaction, whichever is greater.”
According to the DOJ, the tax offense carries a maximum sentence of three years in jail and a $100,000 fine.
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