Ryan Farace from Maryland has been accused of laundering $139 million through 2933 BTC, from a prison cell. The federal prosecutors charged the 37-year-old man with money laundering while serving a prison sentence of about 57 months for trading drugs on the dark web.
Having been convicted in 2018 originally, Farace was ordered previously to forfeit 4000 BTC worth nearly $189 million as of the time of compiling this article with cash worth $5.6 million and property additionally.
Farace has reportedly operated under the pseudonym “Xanaxman” while trading Alphazolam – a generic form of Xanax.
Based on the information from the Maryland Office of the US Attorney, between November 2013 and June 2017, Farace used a pill presser to make 920,000 fake Xanax pills from Alprazolam. He then reportedly worked with Robert Swain, a conspirator to use BTC to launder his proceeds.
The statement reads; “Specifically, the criminal used aliases to contact his co-conspirator through dark web marketplaces and heavily encrypted messages to exchange the BTC he received as payments for his drug trafficking. The co-conspirator would then forward the equivalent in US Dollars through mail or shipping to whatever address produced by Farace.”
In the course of the conspiracy, Farace earned a total of $5 million through mails and had it exchanged to BTC with a source from drug trafficking. Additionally, Swain and Farace drove to New Jersey for Swain to collect total cash of $200,000 that has been exchanged for Bitcoin by Farace. In their in-person meeting on the 16th of February 2017, Robert Swain dropped a pseudonym to the individual he met and stated falsely that the BTC and cash were his properties. The attempt to exchange the BTC for $400,000 cash then prove abortive with the same person.
According to the report released by Baltimore Sun, charges have been brought on Farace and his father, Joseph Farace for money laundering through drug trafficking between October 2019 and April 2021 while he is serving his jail term.
The charges, however, didn’t specify if the recently discovered crypto assets were among the previous proceeds Farace was ordered to forfeit or if the assets were undetected earlier.