The founder of a satanic church was sentenced in U.S. District Court to 18 months in prison Tuesday for operating an unlicensed money transmitting business. Aria DiMezzo, of Keene, a 35-year-old self-described satanist, was also ordered to pay a fine of $5,000 and to forfeit more than $14,000 along with 1.93 bitcoins, currently worth about $55,000. Between June 2020 and January 2021, DiMezzo charged a fee to exchange mostly U.S. dollars for bitcoin or other virtual currency, recruiting customers on websites, according to investigators. DiMezzo sold more than $3 million worth of virtual currency, did not register her operation as a money transmitting business and failed to comply with required regulations, according to prosecutors. Prosecutors also said she worked with a man named Ian Freeman to sell virtual currency to customers that he recruited, paying Freeman a percentage of the profits. A federal jury found Freeman guilty of operating an unlicensed money transmitting business, tax evasion and laundering over $10 million in proceeds of romance scams and other internet frauds.
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