Man sentenced to eight years in prison owes 29 victims more than $3.5 million

A federal judge in New Hampshire has determined that a man sentenced to eight years in prison for running an unlicensed bitcoin exchange business owes 29 victims more than $3.5 million in restitution. Prosecutors said Ian Freeman, a libertarian activist and radio show host, created a business that catered to fraudsters who targeted elderly women with romance scams, serving as “the final step in permanently separating the victims from their money.” The judgment was entered Friday and announced by the U.S. attorney’s office Tuesday. Freeman, 43, was sentenced last year. He said he did not believe he broke the law and that he was trying to get people to adopt bitcoin. He said there were times he detected fraud and protected many potential scam victims. He apologized for not being able to help them all. He was convicted of eight charges in December 2022, although his conviction on a money laundering charge was later overturned by the judge. Freeman was sentenced on the remaining charges, which include operating an unlicensed money transmitting business and conspiracy to commit money laundering and wire fraud. Freeman’s lawyers are appealing the convictions.