Six people involved with the Free Keene movement have been arrested and charged for allegedly operating an illegal cryptocurrency exchange business. “They operated their virtual currency exchange business using websites, as well as operating virtual currency ATM machines in New Hampshire,” the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) said.
FBI Raids Properties and Charges 6 People
The DOJ announced this week that it has charged six New Hampshire residents with crimes related to a cryptocurrency exchange business. The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) raided several Keene properties associated with members of the liberty-minded Free Keene movement on Tuesday and arrested the six defendants.
The individuals charged are Ian Freeman (formerly Ian Bernard), 40, of Keene; Colleen Fordham, 60, of Alstead; Renee Spinella, 23, of Derry; Andrew Spinella, 35, of Derry; Nobody (formerly Richard Paul), 52, of Keene; and Aria DiMezzo (formerly James Baker), 34, of Keene. DiMezzo is the self-described “transsexual satanist anarchist” who ran as the Republican candidate for Cheshire County sheriff in 2020. Both Freeman and Nobody ran for Governor.
Freeman reportedly had accessed $1.66 million worth of bitcoins and had $178,000 in cash in his safe when his house was raided by the FBI, prosecutors said on Friday, adding that he also has access to gold, silver, and possibly other liquid assets and cryptocurrencies.
The indictment details that since 2016:
The defendants have operated a business that enabled customers to exchange over ten million dollars in fiat currency for virtual currency, charging a fee for their service. They operated their virtual currency exchange business using websites, as well as operating virtual currency ATM machines in New Hampshire.
The Free Keene Project describes itself as “New Hampshire’s liberty activism destination.” Long-time supporters of cryptocurrency, in 2018, the group launched a Bitcoin Embassy in…