Mesa-based bitcoin trader gets prison for money laundering
PHOENIX (AP) — A peer-to-peer bitcoin trader in Mesa has been sentenced to more than three years in federal prison after being convicted of money laundering.
Prosecutors say 54-year-old Thomas Mario Costanzo received a 41-month sentence Monday, but will get credit for time served since his April 2017 arrest.
A Phoenix jury found Costanzo guilty of five counts of money laundering in March 2018.
Evidence at trial showed that federal agents began an investigation of Costanzo in 2014 after identifying an advertisement he posted on a peer-to-peer bitcoin exchange website.
Costanzo advertised he was willing to engage in cash transactions up to $50,000.
Over a two-year period, Costanzo took about $165,000 in cash from the agents who he believed to be heroin and cocaine traffickers and exchanged it for bitcoin.