Theresa Tetley of LocalBitcoins Sentenced For Laundering

Theresa Tetley, an exchange trader at LocalBitcoins has recently been charged with several crypto-laundering activities related to profits from drugs and an unregistered crypto-fiat trading platform.


Her sentencing included one year behind bars and a fine of $20K. After serving her sentence, she will be placed under probation for 3 years. The courts also claimed her illegally gained assets which included almost 300 thousand dollars, solid bars of gold and around 40 Bitcoins. Manuel Reed, the sentencing judge, passed her sentence. 

Theresa Tetley, dubbed the Bitcoin Maven, age 50, was sentenced by Judge Reed for her involvement in the criminal activities. During the trial, accused please guilty to two separate charges, one of laundering and the other for her illegal exchange platform. Theresa is the first in California to be charged with crypto-crimes.

In accordance with FinCEN regulations of applying and registering for an operational license, Theresa was in clear violation given the unregistered operation she was conducting. Regulations placed in light of laundering were also among the charges she was accused of, failing to hand in the required information and reports on clients and transactions to officials.


During her illegal involvement, Theresa’s exchange converted almost ten million dollars throughout California and her conversion fees far exceeded the current limit placed by lawmakers. Through her employer, LocalBitcoins, Tetley promoted her platform to draw in consistent customers and fuel her operation.

As the court revealed, Tetley aided a known suspect in acquiring cryptocurrencies through various criminal acts. Among these activities, the suspect profited of narcotics on the dark web and selling them through various illegal websites. An agent disguised as a customer exchanged his assets on her platform after saying they were achieved from drug-related methods. Theresa’s eventual arrest was through an investigation operated by the IRS.

In the past few years, several investigations have led to a large crackdown on illegal bitcoin activities. In 2018 Morgan Rockcoons was captured by ICE and accused of asset washing. He was also accused of owning an unlicensed cash transfer firm. The Bitcoin Inc. head executive was also caught trading bitcoin for cash with undercover law enforcement.

2 years ago

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