Fowler May Change ‘Not Guilty’ Plea in Crypto Capital Laundering Case
Reginald Fowler, one of the individuals accused of running a “shadow banking” service for cryptocurrency startups, is expected to plead guilty to at least some charges during a court hearing next month.
According to a letter written by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Jessica Fender and Sheb Swett on behalf of U.S. Attorney Geoffrey Berman, “it is anticipated that defendant Reginald Fowler will enter a change of plea at the next court conference.”
U.S. District Judge Andrew Carter, who is overseeing the case in the Southern District of New York, endorsed the letter on Thursday, canceling a hearing set for Jan. 8, 2020 and setting one for Jan. 10, 2020.
Fowler, one of the alleged co-founders of payment processor Crypto Capital, was indicted and arrested earlier this year on charges of conspiracy to commit bank fraud, bank fraud, conspiracy to operate an unlicensed money transmitting business and operation of an unlicensed money transmission business, alongside Israeli national Ravid Yosef. According to an indictment, the pair opened bank accounts at various financial institutions to store funds on behalf of cryptocurrency exchanges, but told the banks they would process real estate transactions.
While Yosef was also charged, she has not yet been arrested.
Fowler pled “not guilty” to all four charges during a hearing in June 2019.
Crypto Capital is otherwise known as the payment processor used by Bitfinex, QuadrigaCX, CEX.io and other exchanges in the past, after these firms had difficulty securing banking services.
Bitfinex famously stored close to $1 billion with Crypto Capital, which it lost access to after the company’s bank accounts were frozen by law enforcement authorities in multiple countries.
All told, Bitfinex lost $850 million, as revealed by the New York Attorney General’s office in an ongoing inquiry begun in April.
Bitfinex filed for a subpoena to depose individuals associated with Crypto Capital in an effort to regain its funds.
According to the subpoena, Bitfinex was unaware that Fowler had opened the bank accounts holding its funds in his name, rather than Crypto Capital’s.
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