Morgan Rockcoon, CEO of Bitcoin Inc, of was sentenced today by U.S. District Judge Anthony J. Battaglia to 21 months in prison for wire fraud and operating an unlicensed money transmitting business. Battaglia also ordered Rockcoons to forfeit $80,600 in illicit profits.
On October 21, 2018, Morgan Rockcoons tweeted at Donald Trump, after the president’s sweeping visit to Nevada before the midterms:
Thanks for coming to Elko, we are building a brand new MegaCity here that will provide millions of jobs for Americans in the immediate future thanks to Bitcoin, AI and Nevada. @Bitcointopia @CydoniaCity
— Morgan (@NODEfather) October 21, 2018
Seven days later Rockcoons was arrested by Homeland Security and charged with an elaborate crypto fraud under which prosecutors say Rockcoons made almost $100,000 selling land he didn’t own to crypto enthusiasts.
He’s been in jail ever since awaiting trial.
Rockcoons pleaded guilty on March 7, 2019, admitting that he operated a Bitcoin exchange without registering with the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) of the U.S. Department of Treasury as well as admitting he devised a scheme to defraud individuals in connection with the purported sale of real estate in Elko County, Nevada, that he did not own.
More from the press release:
Prior to his 2018 arrest, Rockcoons was indicted on November 8, 2017 for operating the unlicensed money transmitting business. He was arrested on that charge on February 9, 2018, and he was released on bond pending trial. In spring 2018, while on pretrial release, Rockcoons began promoting Bitcointopia on the internet and via social media. A purported real estate development in the desert in Elko County, Nevada, Rockcoons touted Bitcointopia as a place where bitcoin is “legal tender.” On the website, Rockcoons offered parcels of land for sale for Bitcoin, claiming: “The land is currently owned by Bitcointopia, Inc. corporation.” Rockcoons further stated, “500-1,000 Acre plots are for sale for 0.5 BTC per acre.” Victims who sent Rockcoons Bitcoin never received their title to land as promised.
To date, agents have identified at least 10 victims of Rockcoons’ fraud.
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About Richard Kastelein
Founder and publisher of industry publication Blockchain News (EST 2015), a partner at ICO services collective Token.Agency ($750m+ and 90+ ICOs and STOs), director of education company Blockchain Partners (Oracle Partner) – Vancouver native Richard Kastelein is an award-winning publisher, innovation executive and entrepreneur. He sits on the advisory boards of some two dozen Blockchain startups and has written over 1500 articles on Blockchain technology and startups at Blockchain News and has also published pioneering articles on ICOs in Harvard Business Review and Venturebeat. Irish Tech News put him in the top 10 Token Architects in Europe.
Kastelein has an Ad Honorem – Honorary Ph.D. and is Chair Professor of Blockchain at China’s first Blockchain University in Nanchang at the Jiangxi Ahead Institute of Software and Technology. In 2018 he was invited to and attended University of Oxford’s Saïd Business School for Business Automation 4.0 programme. Over a half a decade experience judging and rewarding some 1000+ innovation projects as an EU expert for the European Commission’s SME Instrument programme as a startup assessor and as a startup judge for the UK government’s Innovate UK division.
Kastelein has spoken (keynotes & panels) on Blockchain technology in Amsterdam, Antwerp, Barcelona, Beijing, Brussels, Bucharest, Dubai, Eindhoven, Gdansk, Groningen, the Hague, Helsinki, London (5x), Manchester, Minsk, Nairobi, Nanchang, Prague, San Mateo, San Francisco, Santa Clara (2x), Shanghai, Singapore (3x), Tel Aviv, Utrecht, Venice, Visakhapatnam, Zwolle and Zurich.
He is a Canadian (Dutch/Irish/English/Métis) whose writing career has ranged from the Canadian Native Press (Arctic) to the Caribbean & Europe. He’s written occasionally for Harvard Business Review, Wired, Venturebeat, The Guardian and Virgin.com, and his work and ideas have been translated into Dutch, Greek, Polish, German and French. A journalist by trade, an entrepreneur and adventurer at heart, Kastelein’s professional career has ranged from political publishing to TV technology, boatbuilding to judging startups, skippering yachts to marketing and more as he’s travelled for nearly 30 years as a Canadian expatriate living around the world. In his 20s, he sailed around the world on small yachts and wrote a series of travel articles called, ‘The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Seas’ travelling by hitching rides on yachts (1989) in major travel and yachting publications. He currently lives in Groningen, Netherlands where he’s raising three teenage daughters with his wife and sailing partner, Wieke Beenen.
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