Event organizer

Former party planner charged with laundering $2.7 million in bitcoin and cash

  • In a statement, the Manhattan DA alleged that between January 2018 and August 2021, 42-year-old Thomas Spieker converted over $2.3 million into Bitcoin, and separately over $380,000 of Bitcoin into US dollars. , via “a rotating set of accomplices” who opened bank and crypto exchange accounts to enable the laundering of “criminal proceeds”.

  • “As alleged, this sprawling international money laundering network has assisted drug traffickers, an organized crime network and con artists to conceal their criminal activity and funnel their earnings around the world,” the district attorney said. of New York, Alvin Bragg, in the ad. “This case shows us how new technologies like cryptocurrency can become key drivers for a wide range of criminal activity that can easily spread across the globe.”

  • Spieker, who pleaded not guilty in the New York State Supreme Court, faces multiple counts of unlicensed money transmission and third- and fourth-degree money laundering. His LinkedIn profile listing his most recent jobs as a partner at a talent agency and founder of party production company, S!ck Productions. Earlier in his career, he spent more than two years as an equity derivatives specialist at Goldman Sachs.
  • Dustin Sites, 32, who the DA says aided Spieker in the scheme, faces one count of transmitting money without a license. Several of Spieker’s clients, whom the Manhattan District Attorney also investigated, face charges of running an illegal dark web drug market and an impersonation scheme, the latter of which allegedly kills 30.

  • The complaint alleges that in 2014, Spieker began searching for the phrase “bitcoin money laundering” in Google searches, and wrote a post on Facebook saying that his services were for people “who wanted stay completely off the radar”, with the understanding that they were engaging in illegal activities.

  • Spieker and three three proxies, including Sites, reportedly met clients who gave them money in exchange for Bitcoin, or “vice-versa,” and collected fees of 4% to 12%. Spieker and his accomplices reportedly opened 28 bank accounts and eight cryptocurrency exchange accounts.

  • Ricky Patel, the New York Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) officer overseeing the investigation, said in the announcement that Spieker had “openly bragged about laundering illicit proceeds.”