MIAMI – The owner of a Miami-based digital currency exchange business pleaded guilty to operating an unlicensed money transmitting business, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1960.
Raul Rodriguez, aka raultiovigia, 43, of Miami, Florida, was in the business of converting cash into bitcoin and other digital currency in exchange for a fee. Rodriguez provided these services to the public through an online digital currency exchange platform known as “LocalBitcoins.com.”
According to his plea agreement, Rodriguez exchanged at least $5,047,462 in digital currency from 2016 through 2022; during the first two years of that period, he was the highest-volume trader of digital currency on the LocalBitcoins.com platform in the State of Florida. Rodriguez further admitted that his customers included an online narcotics trafficker and a professional money launderer, both of whom were previously prosecuted in the Southern District of Florida.
Rodriguez’s sentencing hearing is scheduled for April 2nd at 11:00 a.m. in Miami. He faces up to five years in federal prison.
U.S. Attorney Markenzy Lapointe for the Southern District of Florida and Special Agent in Charge Matthew D. Line of the Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigation (IRS-CI), Miami Field Office, announced the guilty plea.
IRS-CI Miami investigated the case with assistance from FBI, Miami Field Office, and the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), Miami Field Division. Assistant U.S. Attorney Christopher Browne is prosecuting it. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Marx Calderon and Emily Stone are handling asset forfeiture.
Related court documents and information may be found on the website of the District Court for the Southern District of Florida at www.flsd.uscourts.gov or at http://pacer.flsd.uscourts.gov, under case number 23-cr-20474.
Public Affairs Unit
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Southern District of Florida