The state Florida made headlines when Miami-Dade’s Circuit Judge Teresa Mary Pooler tossed out anti-money-laundering charges against website designer Michell Espinoza. According to recent reports, though, the state is filing an appeal against the decision to dismiss charges.
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State Of Florida Appeals Judge Pooler’s Decision to Dismiss Charges
In February 2014, Espinoza was charged for unlicensed money transmissions and AML violations after selling bitcoins to an undercover Detective Ricardo Arias on the peer-to-peer trading website LocalBitcoins. Arias purchased bitcoins from Espinoza multiple times and then escalated the investigation when he purchased $30,000 USD worth of bitcoin.
However at the end of July, Judge Pooler, presiding over the case, dismissed all charges because the courts could not deem bitcoin as money.
“The court is not an experts in economics,” Pooler said. “However, it is very clear, even to someone with limited knowledge in the area, the Bitcoin has a long way to go before it [becomes] the equivalent of money.”
Espinoza’s attorney, Rene Palomino, further dismissed claims that his client acted as a money transmitter. “What he basically did was sell his own personal property,” Palomino said. “Mitchell Espinoza