Banmeet Singh to plead guilty in crypto drug case in Ohio – The Washington Post

A UK resident accused of using the dark web to sell illegal drugs around the world has handed over more than $330 million worth of bitcoin in what authorities say is the largest cryptocurrency seizure in the history of the Drug Enforcement Agency. agreed.

Vanmeet Singh, 40, who was extradited from Britain in March 2023, is scheduled to plead guilty to money laundering and other charges in federal court in Columbus, Ohio, on Friday morning.

The U.S. Attorney's Office for the Southern District of Ohio said this appears to be the “largest single virtual currency financial seizure in DEA history.” According to the plea agreement, Singh was forfeited more than 8,100 bitcoins, which were worth $150 million when first seized. The price of Bitcoin can fluctuate, and the amount to be confiscated is currently over $330 million.

Singh is accused of using dark websites to sell heroin, cocaine, fentanyl, LSD, MDMA, Xanax and tramadol to customers in cities across the United States between 2012 and 2017. The paper said customers paid with Bitcoin, MoneyGram, PayPal or cash. Singh will arrange for the drugs to be shipped to the United States through mail carriers and package delivery services, according to court records.

According to a plea agreement released Thursday, he used dark web marketplaces including Silk Road, AlphaBay, Hansa and Dream Market.

Singh, an Indian citizen living in the UK, was indicted in Ohio in 2018 and arrested the following year. He was not extradited to the United States until last year.

The plea agreement states that Singh will plead guilty to money laundering and conspiracy to distribute a controlled substance. He is expected to be sentenced to eight years in prison, but a judge will ultimately have to approve the terms of the deal.

His attorneys, David Thomas and Paul D. Petruzzi, declined to comment.

The now-closed Silk Road was a notorious market for illegal drugs.Earlier this month, the judges declared A Maryland father and son who sold drugs on Silk Road and similar markets under the screen name Xanax Man have been jailed on money laundering charges. They confiscated approximately 3,000 Bitcoins.In another market-related case, the Department of Justice announced that his 2022 announced $3.36 billion worth of cryptocurrencies stolen from Silk Road have been seized.

Also in 2022, the Department of Justice announced that it had seized more than $3.6 billion worth of Bitcoin stolen from the Bitfinex exchange. A New York couple later pleaded guilty to money laundering in the case.

Washington Post staff writer Devlin Barrett contributed to this report.



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