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back to article Accused fraudster Charles Shrem quits Bitcoin Foundation board

Charlie Shrem, the 24-year-old Bitcoin entrepreneur who was arrested on Monday on money-laundering charges, has resigned from his position as vice chairman of the board of the Bitcoin Foundation. Authorities scooped up Shrem at New York City's JFK Airport on claims that he and accomplice Robert Faiella were involved in …

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Anonymous Coward

Crooks in charge of money and currency, nothing new there.

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Equal Justice? Nope

Big banks launder billions of dollars a year. Do any of them get indicted? Nope, their CEO's get raises.

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Re: Equal Justice? Nope ....... Next stop and logical step, rope for dopes with no places to hide?

Big banks launder billions of dollars a year. Do any of them get indicted? Nope, their CEO's get raises. ....Dani Eder Posted Tuesday 28th January 2014 23:04 GMT

Hi, Dani Eder,

Here be a ringing Daily Bell support for your view, which at the time of this writing has at least dopey banker fan here showing an odious and obviously odd down vote and their approval of a crooked justice system, which in the past has always been the precursor and legitimate justification in extremis for popular violence and revolutionary action against those right at the top of the chains of command responsible, and held non accountable. Such be just natural and fully to be expected in the greater scheme of things ........

Please note that this news follows reports that HSBC has settled a money-laundering probe for a record $1.92 billion. Fox tells us the following:

Settling charges it gave drug lords and terrorists access to the U.S. financial system, British banking giant HSBC (HBC) agreed to pay a record $1.92 billion on Tuesday and accepted responsibility for inadequate anti-money laundering compliance. While the settlement shatters records in terms of monetary penalties, HSBC executives are avoiding criminal prosecution even though officials have accused them of helping countries break the law and the bank of becoming the "preferred financial institution" for drug cartels. "The record of dysfunction that prevailed at HSBC for many years was astonishing," Lanny Breuer, Assistant Attorney General at the DOJ, said in a statement. "Today, HSBC is paying a heavy price for its conduct, and, under the terms of today's agreement, if the bank fails to comply with the agreement in any way, we reserve the right to fully prosecute it."

This provides us with a stark comparison. In one case, defendants face decades in jail for facilitating drug transactions. But institutionalized money laundering to facilitate the international drug trade is dealt with via a fine that is no doubt incidental to HSBC's profits.

Can any of all of that be plausibly denied and said to be untrue and unjustifiable? And are elected politicians responsible too because of their tacit support in not doing anything to really remedy anything? And is that a rhetorical question?

Questions, questions, questions. Always so many questions with silence a telling non-answer to prove the premise right and proper.

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Re: Equal Justice? Nope ....... Next stop and logical step, rope for dopes with no places to hide?

Well it's a support for half his view. The bit about banks being involved in money laundering. Which obviously they will be - even if they're not complicit.

Of course the other bit, about how they get away with it, isn't supported by your post. Where HSBC had to cough up over $1 billion to settle the case. Or the case of Standard Chartered last year, just off the top of my head.

This is why banks ask questions when you make large cash transactions and demand ID when you setup bank accounts. Whether banks also turn a blind eye, when they think they can get away with it, is another question entirely. I rather doubt any of us would be shocked by that suggestion. But it's not as if Bitcoin is the only case where the big stick is being waved.

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Re: Equal Justice? Nope ....... Next stop and logical step, rope for dopes with no places to hide?

"Settling charges it gave drug lords and terrorists access to the U.S. financial system, British banking giant HSBC (HBC) agreed to pay a record $1.92 billion on Tuesday and accepted responsibility for inadequate anti-money laundering compliance."

And where do you think do these $1.92 billion come from?

Every customer of HSBC, of course. This is not something the executives have to pay from their own pockets. These 1.92b will just be slapped onto the regular fees and then handed down to the customer. No real damage done.

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Wakey, wakey .......

But it's not as if Bitcoin is the only case where the big stick is being waved. ….. I ain't Spartacus Posted Wednesday 29th January 2014 09:55 GMT

Bitcoin is uniquely conspicuous in being the only money system which has its lead/head admin arrested and threatened with doing jail time, I ain’t Spartacus, and that is the point you be clearly missing and which would support the other bit ….. “..about how they get away with”

And d3rrial [who posted Wednesday 29th January 2014 11:24 GMT] very clearly explains who be doing all the paying of nonsensical fines which be levied on crooked banks in the control of gangsters. It cost them practically nothing whenever they be not paying so expect more of the same, again and again.

Here be such an example ….. RBS facing £8bn loss after latest mis-selling scandal

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Re: Wakey, wakey .......

If the banks' customers were paying the banks' fines, then bank profits would remain the same the year they pay the fine. As prices would go up to cover it. But they don't. Fines tend to get accounted for as a one-off cost, and so come off the profits. So no, the shareholders pay, not the customers. The shareholders employ the bosses. A lot of what's broken about the current financial system is shareholders failing to to hold boards to account.

Bitcoin isn't unique in one of its members ending up in trouble. It's just smaller. Individual bankers may get put away, but heads of Central Banks in the real world don't tend to get involved in individual transactions. Whereas this chap was on some central board, but was also running an individual company.

That's just because Bitcoin is smaller, newer, less professional and less well regulated.

Also there's probably a difference. Criminals in global banking maybe know how to cover their tracks better. i.e. Even the criminals are more professional. Whereas people involved in Bitcoin may have believed all that stuff about anonymity, or just lucked into their Bitcoin fortunes - and not been all that bright to start with. For example, it was pretty obvious that lots of the deals on Silk Road were illegal. So having dealings with Silk Road was a huge legal risk.

If you're a global bank some drug dealers will try and use you to help in their money laundering. Even if you take all the precautions and honestly try to avoid them. If you wish to deliberately deal with them, you'd be sensible to make sure you have plausible deniability. And the CEO of the bank is unlikely to even know about transactions of that size anyway. So any legal blame can be lost in the multiple layers of management, and it all gets settled with a fine, and some improved procedures.

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@I ain't Spartacus (Wednesday 29th January 2014 15:00 GMT)

My guess is the biggest differences between the BitCoin vendor and HSBC is

- the BitCoin vendor was an exchange not a bank, so he doesn't have accounts for others per se, at least in the banking sense.

- absolute number of customers

- percentage of customers who were laundering money

Governments tend to tread more lightly where criminals are well integrated into large numbers of non-criminals. You can thin the herds, but when you whack out too big a chunk things start to fall apart rather quickly. We're fast closing in on it being a millennium since someone in government could say "Kill them all, God will know his own."

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Happy

"'Prolonged legal dispute' just wouldn't look good"

That and the accusations of having been involved in criminal drug deals. He probably hopes he can buy soap-on-a-rope with his Bitcoins!

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They do.

"the Foundation said it was 'both surprised and saddened' to learn of the charges against Shrem, but added that they do not represent an indictment of Bitcoin or its community."

Yeah, they do.

"The foundation does not condone illegal activities"

Yeah, they do that too.

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