Indian American along with co-conspirator indicted in cryptocurrency money laundering scheme


A US court in the Eastern District of Texas has indicted two persons, including an Indian American for their role in a cryptocurrency money laundering scheme.

A 75-year-old Lois Boyd and a 33-year-old man, Manik Mehtani from Virginia were named in an indictment returned by a federal grand jury, charging them with a violation of the Travel Act, money laundering, and money laundering conspiracy.

According to the indictment, Boyd and Mehtani are alleged to have conspired with others to receive victim money derived from a variety of fraud schemes and launder the proceeds through cryptocurrency.

They allegedly have routinely structured deposits to avoid transaction reporting requirements and to conceal the nature and source of the criminal proceeds, the Department of Justice said.

They allegedly exchanged the criminal proceeds for cryptocurrency and directed the cryptocurrency to wallets under the control of their foreign co-conspirators, it said.

In August 2020, Boyd and Mehtani traveled to Longview, Texas, where they attempted to exchange more than USD 4,50,000 for Bitcoin. They were temporarily detained and the money was seized.

In the course of their operation, Boyd, Mehtani, and their co-conspirators allegedly laundered more than USD 7,50,000, the federal prosecutors alleged.

If convicted, Boyd and Mehtani face up to 20 years in federal prison.  A grand jury indictment is not evidence of guilt.  A defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.

This effort is part of an Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Forces (OCDETF) operation. OCDETF identifies, disrupts, and dismantles the highest-level criminal organizations that threaten the United States using a prosecutor-led, intelligence-driven, multi-agency approach.