HomeCryptoFrom Church to Crypto: Ian Freeman Must Pay $3.5M for Romance Scam...

From Church to Crypto: Ian Freeman Must Pay $3.5M for Romance Scam Scheme

New Hampshire Libertarian Exploits Elderly in Crypto Money Laundering Scheme

Ian Freeman, a prominent figure in New Hampshire’s libertarian circles, has been ordered by a federal judge to compensate victims of romance scams and internet fraud. He faces a hefty restitution of over $3.5 million to 29 individuals, primarily elderly victims, who fell prey to his illicit schemes.

Freeman, who championed Bitcoin as an alternative currency, used his unregistered business to launder scam proceeds through cryptocurrency exchanges, often charging exorbitant fees. He avoided legal requirements by failing to register with the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) and even evaded taxes, hiding income from the IRS between 2016 and 2019.

To obscure the origins of the laundered funds, Freeman and his associates set up accounts at financial institutions under church names, such as the Shire Free Church and the Church of the Invisible Hand. Customers, many of them already scam victims, were instructed to misrepresent their deposits as charitable donations.

The court also ordered Freeman to forfeit various assets, including approximately 5.24 bitcoins (valued at over $258,000) and $1.1 million in US currency. He faces an additional $40,000 fine and eight years in federal prison for his involvement in the “Crypto Six” scam.

Despite Freeman’s attorney claiming the forfeited assets will cover the restitution, evidence presented during the trial revealed possession of images of scam victims, highlighting the deliberate nature of his actions. Prosecutors condemned Freeman’s exploitation of vulnerable individuals, emphasizing his role in depriving them of their life savings. Victim testimonies further underscored the devastating impact of his crimes.

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Several of Freeman’s co-defendants have pleaded guilty and received varying sentences. The case shines a light on the complexities of cryptocurrency-related crimes and the importance of safeguarding vulnerable individuals from financial exploitation.

Ricardo Anderson
Ricardo Anderson
Ricardo is someone with whom you can ask and talk about finance and its importance in life. A part-time cook, enthusiast, and football player, he loves to read and write on the latest updates in finance.


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