CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Jayton Gill, 34, of Durham, N.C., appeared before U.S. Magistrate Judge David C. Keesler today and pleaded guilty to operating an unlicensed money transmitting business and willful failure to file a tax return, announced Dena J. King, U.S. Attorney for the Western District of North Carolina.
Robert R. Wells, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI in North Carolina, and Donald “Trey” Eakins, Special Agent in Charge of IRS Criminal Investigation (IRS-CI), Charlotte Field Office, join U.S. Attorney King in making today’s announcement.
According to filed court documents and today’s plea hearing, from at least 2015 to February 2021, Gill operated an unlicensed money transmitting business involving the exchange of millions of dollars of cash and other monetary instruments for cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin and Monero. During the relevant time, Gill conducted thousands of transactions involving thousands of Bitcoins. As Gill admitted in court today, he advertised his unlicensed money transmitting business on various public websites and made claims on one such website that he had conducted more than 4,200 transactions with 2,700 different parties. Gill also conducted unlicensed money transactions in person and via the U.S. Postal Service.
Gill further admitted that he failed to file U.S. Individual Income Tax Returns for tax years 2015 through 2019, despite earning significant income from his unlicensed money transmitting business and from investing in cryptocurrency.
Gill was released on bond following his guilty plea. The charge of operation of an unlicensed money transmitting business carries a maximum penalty of five years in prison and a $250,000 fine. The maximum penalty for willful failure to file a tax return is one year in prison and a $100,000 fine.
The FBI and IRS-CI investigated the case. Assistant U.S. Attorney Daniel Ryan of the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Charlotte is in charge of the prosecution.