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back to article E-Gold cops to e-money laundering

Online payment service E-Gold and three of its principals have pleaded guilty to criminal money-laundering charges following accusations they knowingly allowed child pornographers, investment scammers and other internet-based criminals to transfer funds related to their misdeeds. In an indictment handed down in April 2007, …

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not long before

E-Oil shows up then....

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Anonymous Coward

accomplices?

"...employees with the firm made notations in database records indicating the types of crime customers engaged in, including entries such as "child porn," "Scammer," and "CC fraud," according to the indictment.

Does this not make them accomplices for those crimes as well if they were knowingly profiting from such activities then? Any lawyers?

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In theory...

>>>Does this not make them accomplices for those crimes as well if they were knowingly profiting from such activities then? Any lawyers?

In theory, yes.

However, the prosecution would have to prove that a) a crime took place, b) money was earned as a direct result of the crime, c) that same money was given to a third party, d) that third party knew that the money being given was earned by the commission of a crime. Knowing Person X is a criminal isn't the same as knowing that Person X committed a crime against Person Y and deposited the proceeds from the crime into your custody.

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Coat

A place for anonymity?

"[E-Gold] allowed customers to open accounts with names such as "Mickey Mouse" and "No Name"

Though there may be some more specific regulations here, but my understanding was that it is only a crime to use a pseudonym in most US jurisdiction if you A: present your self as another real person or B: illegally gain from doing so in some measurable way.

Weather or not it's a violation of the service contract is a separate matter.

"and made no requirements that customers not use the service for criminal activity."

Which brings up an interesting point: Should they?

After all, it seems clear that there is considered to be a place for "blind" services. My telephone company is not (as far as I know) liable if I make calls relating to a crime using their service, nor is the post office if I send letters relating to the same. If I remember correctly, ISPs have a similar level of immunity under certain circumstances. Seems a bit like shooting the messenger (or in this case the banker).

Of course, this does nothing to stop the harassment of lawful businesses by bleeding heart / special interest groups when a product/service is abused (just look at KMart).

Mine's the one with the camera scrambling IR hood.

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Thumb Down

A correction...

I heard the the KMart story second hand, and was unaware of Mr. Moore's involvement. This makes the final portion of my closing line untrue, as Moore* technically does not constitute either of those groups.

* while being much slimier, for lack of a more exact term.

i can haz semantics?

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@A place for anonymity?

"After all, it seems clear that there is considered to be a place for "blind" services. My telephone company is not (as far as I know) liable if I make calls relating to a crime using their service, nor is the post office if I send letters relating to the same. If I remember correctly, ISPs have a similar level of immunity under certain circumstances. Seems a bit like shooting the messenger (or in this case the banker)."

Actually, most of the above mentioned do have policies (in some cases, enshrined in law) that you not use their services for illegal activities. If you do, they may not be liable, but in most cases, there are consequences which vary between the service and the crime in question. For example, using the phone company to commit fraud, or the post office to send illegal drugs, will result in prosecution if you are caught. Just because the system is set up so you are protected from casual search does not mean that you are entirely safe.

-Daniel

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Bronze badge
Pirate

@ Pete "oranges" B

Good points to raise Pete and they also sit alongside the recent US ruling that Ebay is not responsible for the policing of it's site in relation to counterfeit goods.

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Anonymous Coward

Business Ethics.

"Mainstream businesses have especially little tolerance for those with ties to child predators, identity thieves and other fraudsters."

With the obvious exception of Enron, BCCI, et al. The willful turning of blind eyes is pretty common place, it tends to take an actual conviction to get a firm dropped like a hot potato.

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PT

The real crime...

The real crime was circumventing the quaintly-named "Banking Secrecy Act" by allowing financial transactions outside the control and watchful eye of the US Government. Regardless of whether it was used for criminal activities, its destruction was a foregone conclusion - if the Feds could not find any evidence, they would have made it up.

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Anonymous Coward

What happens to the e-gold?

So what happens to all the e-gold that in peoples legitimate accounts? I have $300 of e-gold in my account that if I wish to exchange out to cash is only worth about $150 as most reliable exchangers are only offering 50% of the amount due to the uncertainy of e-gold's future. If i exchange it now i loose $150 but if i leave it in and hope that e-gold can be turned around but it goes tits up i could loose the full $300

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Paris Hilton

And the tax evasion angle

Uncle Sam, being a profiteer, is always interested in his cut regardless of the source.

Paris since she is always interested in making a profit.

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