Crypto seller in New Orleans charged with running an unlicensed money transmitting business

The U.S. Department of Justice said Thursday that it has charged a New Orleans-based cryptocurrency seller with running an unlicensed money transmitting business.

Michael Yusko, according to court documents released today, was accused of operating without a license. Prosecutors have alleged that Yusko ran a number of business banking accounts to support the sale of crypto, stating that he sold "Bitcoin, Ethereum and other cryptocurrencies to customers" between August 2017 and June 2019. 

"Yusko did not register any of these companies with [the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network] as money transmitting businesses, however. If convicted, Yusko may receive a maximum of five years in prison, a maximum $250,000.00 fine, up to three years of supervised release, and a $100 mandatory special assessment," the DOJ said in a statement.

FinCEN has long considered cryptocurrencies as a form of substitute for U.S. dollars in the context of money transmission, and Wednesday's court documents the requirement to register with the U.S. agency.