U.S. v. Ulbricht
Ross Ulbricht was found to run the Dark Web market called Silk Road. The FBI shut down the site and charged Ross Ulbricht with several crimes, one being money laundering. The United States Supreme Court gave case law on this case that bitcoins were considered currency and therefore, money laundering charges could be brought against the defendant (Forrest, 2014).
“The money laundering statute is broad enough to encompass the use of Bitcoins in financial transactions. Any other reading would—in light of Bitcoins’ sole raison d’etre—be nonsensical. ” United States v. Ulbricht, 31 F. Supp. 3d 540, 570 (S.D.N.Y. 2014)
U.S. v. Faiella
In this case, from 2014, the courts decided that Bitcoin is money as defined in 18 U.S.C. § 1960. This allowed the charges levied against Faiella to stand as he engaged in the money transmission and was the transmitter of that money, both also defined in 8 U.S.C. § 1960 (Rakoff, 2014).
“Under Section 1960, a defendant is guilty of an offense where he “knowingly conducts, controls, manages, supervises, directs, or owns all or part of an unlicensed money transmitting business.” 18 U.S.C. § 1960.” United States v. Faiella, 39 F. Supp. 3d 544, 545 n.1 (S.D.N.Y. 2014)
U.S. v. Murgio.
In September 2016, charges in the Indictment stem from Anthony Murgio’s alleged operation, with Lebedev’s assistance, of Coin.mx, a website that the Government characterizes as an unlawful Bitcoin exchange, as well as from an alleged plan to bribe Gross, the chairman of the board of a federal credit union, to obscure the illegal nature of that exchange (Nathan, 2017). The United States v. Murgio, 15-cr-769 (AJN), (S.D.N.Y. Jan. 12, 2017).
The legislative history of § 1960 supports the conclusion that bitcoins fall within the statute’s purview…namely, that § 1960 “appl[ies] to any business involved in transferring `funds … by any means.’” Faiella, 39 F.Supp.3d at 546 (emphases added) (quoting 18 U.S.C. § 1960(b)(2)). Dictionaries, courts, and the statute’s legislative history all point to the same conclusion: bitcoins are funds(US v. Murgio, 209 F. Supp. 3d 698 – Dist. Court, SD New York 2016.