TikTok Blogger Admits to Money Laundering Using Bitcoin

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Denish Sakhadevan, better known on TikTok as investor Danny Dewan, pleaded guilty to laundering state funds, including with the help of the first cryptocurrency. This is reported by the US Department of Justice.

According to the Maryland District Attorney’s Office, the influencer tried to defraud lenders and authorities to obtain $1.2 million in COVID-19 loans.

At the beginning of the pandemic, the US government passed a bailout law. The project included Payroll Protection Programs (PPP) and Economic Injury Benefits (EIDL).

The investigation claims that Sakhadevan used both programs for his financial manipulations. Starting in March 2020, he created fake tax forms and bank statements, and then filed PPP and EIDL applications through several entities he controls.

According to the case file, the blogger received 71 PPP loans in the amount of $941,000 and completed 8 EIDL applications for $238,000. Before that, he borrowed about $1.3 million from the bank, which he spent on buying a six-bedroom mansion.

With the help of funds received from the state, the man tried to pay off his debts. He also sent some of that money to his girlfriend.

On February 24, 2023, the police raided Sakhadevan’s home and found 18 driver’s licenses belonging to different people, $17,000 in cash, and a “gold physical bitcoin in a black case.” The police seized everything as evidence.

Ultimately, the blogger confessed to wire fraud, aggravated identity theft, and money laundering using cryptocurrencies.

The maximum penalty for this charge is 20 years in prison for fraud, 10 years for money laundering and two years for identity theft. As part of the plea agreement, Sahadevan will forfeit the cash and bitcoins he owned and pay $429,000 in fines.

Recall that in April, law enforcement officers in New York detained the former broker of banks JPMorgan and Deutsche Bank Rashawn Russell on suspicion of fraud with digital assets.

In May, Nathaniel Chastain, ex-CEO of OpenSea NFT marketplace products, was found guilty of insider trading.

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