Originally published at: An Open Letter To The Scum Of The Universe | Free Keene
I wanted to take the time to respond to the government propaganda department’s continued lies in regard to the Crypto6 case. The Crime3 podcast interviewed former government agents and I wanted to take the time to respond to Jenifer and Chris’s lies and manipulations regarding the case and what unfolded.
You can find the episode here:
My open letter to the scum of the universe:
What these so-called blockchain ‘experts’ leave out whom have a bias and agenda when they’re talking about traceability of cryptos like Bitcoin (due to the public nature of the block chain) is that the “evidence” they produce is not admissible at trial and they’re not experts in the subject matter within the trial context according to the courts. By getting on these podcasts they’re in a sense defrauding the public about their credentials and abilities. The prosecutors are building cases on unscientific and unreliable evidence. The blockchain ‘evidence’ does not meet the standards of scientific scrutiny needed for admission in the courts at the trial level. Let me clarify one other aspect that this is at least for the federal system as was evidence in the Crypto6 case.
While the governments top ‘expert’ was allowed to testify she was not admitted as an expert in the courtroom, nor was the blockchain evidence she brought forth. Humorously she admitted that even the defense lawyer could re-produce her results using public websites. While it is correct that blockchain tracing can be be utilized at early stages of an investigation to try and figure who did what when and even obtain search warrants that’s a very different thing than utilizing blockchain tracing as evidence at trial. The standards of evidence to obtain a search warrant that might lead to actual evidence are much lower than the standards needed to introduce that evidence at trial. This is why a search is essential to a criminal investigation. The actual evidence is not the evidence that leads one to ‘suspect’ a crime has occurred. That’s merely an investigative tool. It’s like a hunch that something has occurred, but now you need to find actual evidence it occurred.
There are different aspects of the problem. One of them is that while you can easily trace an individual transaction it’s a very different thing and an impossible task to trace thousands of transactions without the help of specialized tools. Those specialized tools can’t be scrutinized by actual experts because of the companies behind those tools are withholding the source code. Therefore the methodology hasn’t withstood the necessary public scrutiny. What happened in the crypto6 case was that people were intimidated into taking plea deals, cases against individuals were dropped, and in the one trial that occurred a story was told based on lies and half-truths of which the evidence itself didn’t support. The jury appeared to have been unable to understand the evidence or its connection to the story being told. This or a combination of this combined with tactical attempts to make the man the were after, Ian Freeman out to be a anti-government bad guy satanist who prayed on little old ladies. None of this could be farther from the truth. They used politics and a broken or rigged jury system to achieve the results they wanted. The one person in the jury pool for instance who had touched Bitcoin was thrown out as was anyone who might have had an understanding of what was occurring. He was then portrayed as an anti-government violent satanist by way of others. He hasn’t uttered a word of violence, made allegiances with Satan or worshiped Satan, or been any of the things the government has portrayed him as. They took words out of context, implied he knew about things at a time in which he did not, and worse. Being against taxation isn’t a crime, but if you can convince a jury of people pulled from only the most upstanding government worshiping citizens in society everyone is guilty regardless of any actual wrongdoing.
The ‘experts’ which spoke in the Crime6 podcast about the church of the invisible hand left out the primary tenants of I believe all of these churches twisting what they admitted to not even understanding. It’s peace: “It is our mission, inspired by God, Allah, the Universe, and the inner light – to foster peace”. You can lie about it and claim it’s anti-government, but that isn’t really an accurate portrayal of any of these churches here. The very nature of the belief system is one of peace and defense, not one of no government. It’s not a pacifist philosophy either, but it’s close to it.
You can connect it to libertarianism, but if you don’t understand what that means in this context you’ll be dearly misinformed. Libertarian philosophy can be summed up as the non-aggression principle. It is the fundamental principle of morality that states that any person is permitted do everything with his property, except aggression. It’s being against the use of violence to achieve social and political objectives where those objectives aren’t defensive in nature to actual violence.
For example participants do not believe that there can be no laws. Rather they believe the only laws that should exist are ones that prohibit non-consensual violence. Violence in defense of oneself and others is completely acceptable. That’s not anti-government. No one as far as I’m aware is objecting to the prosecution of violent individuals. They’re objecting to prosecution of individuals for smoking weed, a sacrament of one of the churches in question by the way. The government here uses violence against peaceful people, not violent actors.
They present our community as one that existed as if they get to dictate our existence or that arresting a few people somehow makes it go away. In reality it’s a community of 10s of thousands in size that continues to grow every year. Both in terms of births and in terms of people migrating for peace, love, and liberty. We have significant representation in the statehouse making up as much as ¼ of the house. We even got our first state senator last year. Our churches don’t disappear just because the state or some federal agent doesn’t like us. This is at the heart of it a religious persecution and a battle over beliefs and ideas. Something that state schools give the impression was a tenant at the foundation of the nation, but for which in reality is a hypocritical modern day representation of the United States. A country that has restricted religious and religious organization that do not conform or did not exist 50 years ago. Where some religious organizations are protected others are not. We aren’t allowed to setup new non-insurance based solution to health care for instance that other religious groups have in place and are enshrined in law. The difference is they had such organizations already which pre-date the 1950s era socialist dictate that legally changed how health care worked in the United States.
One of the messages that they keep bringing up is that there were many churches. This is an misleading representation of what was actually going on. The Shire Free Church is a church that was founded in 2010 around peace, love, and liberty. It is an interfaith church that welcomes all peaceful people whether you’re a Muslim, Jew, Catholic, Protestant, a Quaker, or something else entirely. In fact one of the board members is a Quaker. Ian, the primary political target in the Crypto6 case was just one of the people on the board of the Shire Free Church. The Shire Free Church is registered with the state of New Hampshire. Around 2017 the Shire Free Church setup a crypto outreach effort. A DBA was filed with the state to that end. This became one of these “many churches” when in reality that isn’t what a DBA is. A DBA is saying you’re representing yourself under multiple names. It does not mean you are setting up multiple entities. This made a lot of sense as the church was going to focus on spreading peace through cryptocurrency. If you don’t understand the history of money you won’t understand any of this and it can be twisted into some dubious money laundering scheme. This was the angle the government turned to when it became apparent no actual crime occurred. Lawyers were sought and advised the church how to legally sell Bitcoin long before the FBI’s investigation got off the ground.
Cryptocurrency is a non-state currency and has the potential to undermine state violence. The US government switched to a fiat currency to fund war efforts many decades ago. A fiat currency is effectively a currency that isn’t backed by anything. Previously currencies were backed by things like gold. You could go to the state or a non-government bank before that and get your gold out (the thing with real value). The government discontinued the ability of people holding dollars from getting the real money the government held on their behalf out (gold, silver, etc). This then allowed the government to print more dollars than they had gold. In turn the dollars people held become worth less and less each year and enabled and continues to enable the government to drop bombs on women and children overseas.
The churches didn’t help anyone evade income taxes. The IRS’s own website states that churches and their ministers aren’t required to file income taxes unless (unless they’re 5013c churches) except in circumstances where a minister has a side hustle at Mc Donalds more or less. Ian Freeman did not have any such side hustles where he personally brought in money. Any revenue from the sale Bitcoin went back into the coffers of the church. The federal government never showed where the money went in the case outside of the vast majority of it going back into purchasing Bitcoin. If anything their own evidence disproved this was the personal income of Ian Freeman. This all made sense too given the mission of the church was to foster peace and this particular outreach effort was to spread peace through the sale of cryptocurrency. I should point out the sale of cryptocurrency was one small part of the spreading of cryptocurrency. The church also helped businesses get setup with cryptocurrency and taught others how to use cryptocurrency. It was not about “investing” in cryptocurrency even if that is often why people buy it. What the market later turned into was not how crypto was started or why the church or our community support it. We’ve held meetups to teach people about cryptocurrency long before the sale of Bitcoin even. The church has other outreach efforts that also have nothing to do with cryptocurrency including building orphanages in Africa, helping the homeless, and even helping people and families with mental health issues. The church provided below market rate rents to numerous families struggling with addiction over the years as well as others with mental health related issues all long before it sold any cryptocurrency.
I think the framing of the feds saying that because a few people wrote donations on wire transfers to the church that the church was somehow engaging in criminal activity is just preposterous. The first donations to the church long preceded the accusations here too. Just because some people considered the proceeds from their purchases of Bitcoin donations does not make the transaction criminal. Remember the church was founded in 2010 … many years before any vending occurred. The first regular sales of Bitcoin didn’t occur until 2016-2017 which is the same time the FBI started investigating. The proceeds of cryptocurrency transactions can be donations too. If not then why haven’t you gone after eBay or sellers on eBay? eBay and a portion of it’s sellers contribute a portion of the profits from their sales to charities all the time too. It’s anywhere between 10% and 100% if my memory serves me correctly. This is a major fundraising effort. Why is it that just because this involved selling Bitcoin that those proceeds can’t also be donations?
They put forth this idea that the crypto6 are somehow tied to New Hampshire because of the 2008 financial collapse. This couldn’t be farther from the truth. These people are tied to New Hampshire through a set of beliefs and moves to the state as part of the Free State Project migration. The migration is a movement of folks who believe in promoting peace, liberty, and love for one another. It’s all about the non-aggression principle. While there is a connection between Bitcoin and the 2008 financial collapse in that Bitcoin was created in that context (to enable people to escape the government regulated banks of which many failed and whom had malicious intent) it has nothing to do with people moving to the state. It’s merely one avenue that people who have that belief system have to promote peace. This is not about Bitcoin or cryptocurrency. It’s about peace. The same people who promote Bitcoin also promote the goldback and other systems of barter for the same reasons. It’s not about individuals profiting here even if it can be said that people outside libertarian circles have mostly gotten into cryptocurrency out of an interest in profiting from the swings. The reasons these people got into crypto differ from those the schmucks promoting it for personal profit, scheming, or otherwise benefiting from it (not unlike they use the dollar too might I add) with ill intent.
They continue to disparage Ian’s name through lies. Ian believes these people despite the lies have every right to tell them. Ian wouldn’t do the same in return, that is lie about what the government is doing or them. He doesn’t have to either. Lets take the the claim that Ian is constantly advocating for sex with children. This is just absurd and propaganda the government probably created. In two decades of producing Free Talk Live you’d think they’d be able to come up with some audio or video of Ian actually saying this. No one has. At best they’ve twisted advocating freedom into some bizarre child-adult sex claim that is false. Then they backed it up through false affidavits and a raid in 2016. This was likely an attempt to take Ian and at least Free Talk Live out through disparagement of his name. The FBI raided Ian’s house in 2016 with the claim that child pornography would be found. No child porn was ever found, no arrests were ever made, and the FBI was sued for the return of what they stole. The vast majority of which has been returned. Why do they feel a need to twist a message advocating peace and freedom into one that is disgusting and more representative of their despicable behavior than Ians?
Ian Freeman didn’t create the Church Of The Invisible Hand. Rich Paul (aka Mr Nobody) has been talking about it and preaching his beliefs surrounding it for a decade whether or not I or anyone else agrees with his beliefs or the Church Of The Invisible Hand. The Church Of The Invisible Hand has a mailing list and members whether or not you like it or not. The ideas behind it existed long before Mr Nobody’s involvement with crypto sales too. These sales involving Nobody and Ian and the Shire Free Church only occurred in the last year of the FBI’s investigation. It’s not even clear how or where or if the Church Of The Invisible Hand is ‘connected’ to it all. They’ve literally just taken things people have said out of context and turned it into “all these churches”. I’m surprised they didn’t bring up Gun Church. Gun Church is not connected to crypto sales and is not even a church to the best of my knowledge. Though they do accept cryptocurrency donations. It’s an entity maybe, but not a religious one. It would be more akin to the Church Of Emacs probably. Which is a way of taking sides in a debate over which text editor is better in the Unix (operating systems) / Linux world. If you twist reality enough and the meaning enough than maybe… there were all these “churches” and because these people also had a connection to crypto well… we can ignore reality and somehow say these churches were all fronts to some fraudulent end.
Free Talk Live is an outreach effort of the Shire Free Church and has been around for decades. It’s where peaceful people come together and preach about peace and communicating our ideas to the world. It’s not some “New Hampshire” thing. It’s airing on ~200 some odd radio stations around the United States. It’s akin to any other TV ministry of which I’m sure just about everyone has heard of. They may take different forms, but the gist of it is someone gets on TV and preaches about their religious viewpoints. Free Talk Live continues to air on radio stations across the United States in spite of the FBI’s attempt to take Ian out. In spite of the FBI’s arrest of Aria, Nobody, and a few others. The FBI has repeatedly failed to take out Ian and the Shire Free Church. Free Talk Live lives on. You can listen to it online at https://www.freetalklive.com/
Aria DiMezzo did form the Reformed Satanic Church, did some outreach to raise money for kids with cancer, and was around only a very short while. The FBI made arrests shortly after it was formed and so it’s hard to judge something that barely existed. It barely had time to do anything or build a membership or preach anything. However Aria DiMezzo did do some of that none-the-less via her work with the Shire Free Church. The crypto-sales however were not tied to one another. I believe the connection as was explained at Ian Freeman’s trial was that Ian had referred customers to Aria on a few occasions where the Shire Free Church was overly burdened by it’s success in its own outreach efforts.
Renee and Andrew Spinella were threatened by the government and intimidated into taking plea deals. Andrew Spinella had little to no knowledge of anything as was evidenced in court and agreed to by basically everyone including judge, prosecutor, etc. There was a connection due to some bank account where his name was on the account. He had nothing to do with selling Bitcoin. It was probably in connection to Renee that the FBI arrested him. Renee was aware of the governments displeasure with the churches Bitcoin sales and basically haphazardly tripped into what was effectively a situation she wasn’t comfortable being in. She clearly didn’t get it and probably should not have gotten into any of it in the first place. Out of an abundance of caution she quit long before the FBI raided over crypto-sales. If anyone was guilty of anything it was probably Renee humorously, but mostly being unwitting to the morals, laws, legal advice, understanding, reasons, and so forth of it all. Her view on it was not representative of our communities and she did not seem to fully understand what she was doing. She did not move to New Hampshire as a libertarian for the Free State Project. She may have come along, been a significant other in years leading up to the FBI’s 2nd raid, but may not have understood what the rest of us were preaching. She did not know about or understand the legal advice, but she did understand the threat of the feds and appeared to not believe what she was doing herself even if it was completely legal.
No one changed their identities. People did change their names over a period of a decade or longer. It wasn’t to “escape justice” as is being presented by this warped government propaganda. Rich Paul changed his name to Nobody for political reasons. He wanted to give the people of New Hampshire the opportunity to vote Nobody for major and later governor. I do not know the reasons Ian changed his name from Ian Benard to Ian Freeman, but it was a very long time ago. It was not a secret. It was a well known fact anyone could do a search of the internet and discover. The last person who also changed their name (?) and this is a little unclear as to when… but was Aria. Aria as we’ve always known her escaped persecution in southern Mississippi for being trans only to end up in the northern state of New Hampshire to face it from the federal government. I don’t know if this name change was a legal name change. I believe she is currently caged under her legal name issued at birth which was a male name. For someone walking around in dresses is it really unreasonable that they’re going by a more feminine sounding name? None of these name changes or aliases were secret or to hide their real identity. In fact certain people still go by their former name. Now an alias to their legal name.
The government agent speaking in this Crime3 podcast is under the belief that the church promoted Bitcoin in order to have people to sell Bitcoin to. This just doesn’t match with reality or the unfolding of events. The Shire Free Church was promoting Bitcoin long before the churches first vending machine or crypto sale. The church didn’t promote the spending or usage of Bitcoin to give people a need for Bitcoin as was stated. This is an absurd given the time frames involved and what started happening when. The church was promoting Bitcoin many years before it started selling Bitcoin and the church had no need to sell Bitcoin from a financial standpoint. The church had received significant donations at its founding including a 100 BTC bar. That’s 4.3 million dollars at today’s prices not including the value derived from its uniqueness (very few remain that have not been redeemed pushing the price of this item up beyond the 100 BTC of Bitcoin the bar contains). Ian had no need for money and long ago took a vow of poverty. He does not drive a fancy car, own a fancy home, or waste money on frivolous things either. When the church did start selling Bitcoin there were far more people demanding it than the church could ever hope to supply short of turning it into an actual business. There were plenty of places to get Bitcoin in 2016. Spreading it and I’d argue particularly locally however was still valuable act from a spiritual sort of standpoint and one from a philosophical fight stand point. No one was under the guise that the government would not start a fight even if it was completely legal. There are people that Ian and our community have interacted with over the years who did get into selling Bitcoin for profit and financially benefiting from it. That was not what happened here. One person we knew had 80 vending machines for instance many years before the FBI raided. Another person we knew had at least 20-30 if my recollection is correct. The Shire Free Church started with a single vending machine early on and added about one vending machine a year. When it raided there were 4. Ian started referring people to Aria explicitly because there were too many people wanting to purchase Bitcoin from the Shire Free Church. The church couldn’t reasonably keep up with the demand. This idea that the church had to promote its usage to sell Bitcoin is ridicules as by the time the sales started Bitcoin had already exploded. The church didn’t need to sell Bitcoin. It was already well established and financially sound.
They claim that setting up a Bitcoin vending machine is legal, but only so long as you follow the rules that have been setup by government. The problem here is that the church sought legal advice and even got the laws in New Hampshire changed to ensure it was operating well within the law. To now claim that the church wasn’t operating within the rules despite the hoop jumping it did and we as a whole did is absurd. The government at no point came to the church and said “hey- we think you’re not operating legally”. At best they sent a letter to what appeared to be thousands of vending machine operators with a name that was NOT Ian, not the Shire Free Church, and of which didn’t say you are, but only you may be operating outside the bounds of the law. The lawyers however dissagreed.
If you look at other cases the government has gone after people in states where there is no state regulation claiming that the federal government requires you to register with the state despite there being no state system to register in the first place. This isn’t an issue of “just follow the rules”. It’s a case of the government targeting activists for political and religious reasons. It’s not even the government more generally, but in this case one specific agent named Phil Christiana who has been involved in 3 separate targeted “investigations” regarding one individual Ian Freeman, and one entity: The Shire Free Church and Free Talk Live. The feds tried to get Rich Paul to entrap Ian in 2012, tried to disparage his name by making a false affidavit and raiding over non-existent child porn in 2016. When that failed in March of 2016 they immediately started an investigation into the Bitcoin vending. Then in March of 2021 the FBI raided a 2nd time with multiple tank-like vehicles that were former actual military vehicles used in war zones. They brought in about ~56 FBI agents and something closer to 100 law enforcement agents. This over the mere selling of Bitcoin? You’d have to be a fool to believe this was just a matter of the church failing to file paperwork. This was a politically motivated attack on libertarians and our beliefs in New Hampshire. Phil Christiana was targeting Free State Project movers before Ian Freeman ever arrived in New Hampshire. Ian just became Phil Christiana’s #1 target.
There were policies in place to protect their customer’s privacy just like any bank or company has. To suggest this somehow implicates the church in illegal activity is again absurd. The church was NOT required to register with FinCEN and the church maintains that position. The case is still being fought through the courts and no final decision exists to even contradict this. The state has no regulations on people or entities selling Bitcoin and so long as you are not doing it for profit the federal regulations don’t require you to register either. There are a number of different reasons the church was not required to register as a money transmitter, but this would be one of them. Remember that long before the FBI and dozens of other 3 letter agencies raided in 2021 the church had received advice on how to operate and did operate legally. Even if the church did have to register and didn’t we’re talking about a paperwork violation here. The church had procedures in place to hinder scammers. The church did more to stop people from becoming victims of scammers than any of the banks did in this case. Every one of the “victims” that got up on the stand stated clearly that Ian called them to verify that they understood what they were purchasing. None of the banks made any attempt to stop individual transactions and one of the governments own experts from a credit union stated that they didn’t have to stop individual transactions merely because they were suspicious anyway. This was the reason that she didn’t close the Shire Free Church’s account at that very credit union. She even stated in a letter replying to Ian that the churches operations may be completely legal. Ian had written to her stating that the churches lawyers disagreed with the banks stance and asked for reconsideration. There were no complaints regarding the account or victims and many transactions had occurred. Despite here gut feelings there was nothing she could point to evidencing a problem. The government is effectively protecting banks while saying everyone else needs to stop individual transactions based on gut feelings they don’t even have.
The government is claiming the church didn’t want to know about romance scams and yet Ian testified to the fact he asked customers if they were being put up to purchasing crypto by a lover. He even went so far as to ask people if they’d ever met their significant others. The problem here is that these scammers convince their “lovers” to lie so none of this really matters as far as stopping scams. It’s just a fools errand to think these regulations or this position has some positive impact on hampering scammers. Remember that the banks didn’t ask any of these “victims” any questions. They took zero steps to stop the individual transactions. There was one person who testified that the bank told him he was laundering money and he continued to do it. Unlike that situation the man KNEW he was laundering money for a scammer. Ian nor the church ever knew about any scams or laundering that occurred. The laundering was being done by third parties, not the church, not Ian, not the banks. To whatever degree this occurred it was not a result of any person in this case except for the one man who knew he was laundering money for scammers because a bank agent told him so when they closed his account. This transaction was not related to the purchasing of Bitcoin from the church and many if not all of these victims were purchasing Bitcoin from other parties. It’s unclear how many as often these people testimony was in error or clearly incorrect. One women read a letter stating she bought her crypto from a Florida vending machine yet the Shire Free Church had no vending machines in Florida. This letter differed from what she had previously testified to.
Lets talk willful blindness for a moment since the government is claiming the church was being willfully blind. The church wasn’t required to know what people were using their crypto for because it wasn’t required to register as a money transmitter in the first place which is what the basis for requiring that knowledge is. However even what is required isn’t what the government agents want you to believe. Despite that the church was not required to ask it DID ask persons who were purchasing crypto through means (online) that did on occasion result in folks being victims of scams whether or not they were purchasing Bitcoin for a boyfriend they did not know however and a list of similar questions in a more thorough manor than KYC required. Banks aren’t required to ask what you are spending your dollars on every time you make a withdrawal.
Imagine that for a moment. Have you ever went to a fiat (cash) ATM machine to withdraw money and been asked what or who you were going to spend it with/on? I’ve NEVER had a bank ATM ask me where I was going to spend my fiat currency. This not asking thing is clearly not willful blindness if you would only think about it for a moment. There was a sign on the vending machines that listed rules including that the wallet you were sending the crypto to was your own. This should if people obeyed it ensured that no third party scammer would get the crypto. AKA this is KYC as KYC isn’t a specific list of things banks must do, but rather a bank must have a KYC policy with things in it they decide on to thwart various criminal activity. The one rule that may have stated don’t tell us what you are doing with the crypto (this may not be accurate description of the rule as I’m taking it from what the government agent said in the podcast rather than checking it was accurate myself) was explicitly because that would complicate things for non-employees (staff here aren’t actual staff of the vending machine). There were no physical human beings at these vending machines. A cashier at a bar/restaurant in which the vending machine happened to be placed would in theory all of a sudden have to know the law and then presumably do something if someone said they were planning to buy drugs with the Bitcoin [in theory]. These weren’t actual employees or staff of the church remember. So what you might be able to imply is willful blindness here isn’t particularly within context of the churches other actions and operations as it pertained to selling Bitcoin and by comparison to what every bank cash ATM machines does. To take this and accept it as true would mean that every bank was committing willful blindness by not asking you where or what you were planning to spend your ATM cash withdrawals on. It’s also a silly question in that how many of us even know where we are going to spend that cash? I don’t know where or what I’m going to spend it on when I withdraw it. I bet you don’t either most of the time. The same thing applies to Bitcoin purchases.
Ian went out of his way to comply with the law. Yes- he knew how others were targeted for prosecution and where they fell afoul of the law, but didn’t his refusal to make those mistakes prove he was making every effort to comply EVEN if he didn’t agree? The law doesn’t dictate what people believe. The law dictates what they must do and Ian did what he had to do, but nothing says he had to agree that drugs are bad to sell Bitcoin. He may have had to act under some set of circumstances (like if he had to register as a money transmitter) had he encountered a customer purchasing Bitcoin and then stating he was selling drugs. The reality is Ian refused to sell Bitcoin to an undercover officer claiming to be a drug dealer once he was made aware of this falsehood. He may have known this was an undercover officer by the mere fact this was a standard operating procedure used by malicious officers to prosecute innocent Bitcoin sellers, but none of that or if anything it just goes to prove he’s innocent. It doesn’t prove he’s trying to cater to criminals or that he’s being willfully blind. It proves the opposite. That he was COMPLYING with the law. They’re literally crucifying Ian for following the law while claiming he didn’t want to follow the law (even though they have no proof to that end) and therefore he’s a bad man and he should be locked up for the rest of his life.
It’s not even clear that he could have knowingly operated a money transmission business as the laws at the time did NOT include Bitcoin or cryptocurrency. The government is just intentionally blind here due to their bias. It’s not clear cut that he was operating a money transmitting business as the government apologist in the podcast is claiming. The law was changed in 2021 AFTER the FBI arrested Ian and the Crypto6 to include virtual currency. For him to knowingly done so it would have had to been clear that the Bitcoin was in fact money as defined by the law or some instrument thereof AND he was transmitting it. This is a question that remains open for debate and the lawyers disagree on which is evidenced by the very fact that different lawyers are arguing it in the courtroom. It was not transmitted like a money transmitter transmits money either. The law says to another place or person. The church sold Bitcoin to users and did NOT move money from one physical location to another or from one person to another.
Every person who bought Bitcoin online was required to provide a ID. The church had a picture of an ID for every “victim”. To suggest that they weren’t following a set of KYC procedures is a flat out lie. It may not have been what the government agents wanted, but the law does not dictate the specific of the KYC procedures. When you go to a store and purchase a gift card do they ask for your ID? I can tell you they don’t. They may have a warning about scams posted and it might be some states do require ID, but it’s not a federal mandate required by KYC. This isn’t ‘facilitating’ scammers and they want to portray it. Not even a fraction of 1% of purchasers were victims of scammers according to the governments own statistics in this case. The victims also bought Bitcoin in this case from other sellers. It was not a case where “if only the church hadn’t sold them bitcoin, or if only the church had done KYC” that these people wouldn’t have lost money. Every one of them bought Bitcoin from other sellers and a heck of a lot more Bitcoin in fact in at least some instances. Some as was previously stated were actually actively and knowingly laundering money for scammers and these same people the government is claiming are “victims” of the church. It’s absurd to claim an actual money laundering individual is a victim of a church that knew NOTHING about it and actively tried to stop scammers.
Romance scams are real, but they’re not the fault of the banks. They’re not the fault of Bitcoin sellers. They’re not the fault of Ian, the Crypto6, or the Shire Free Church. The fees were also far less than the government claimed. The government claimed 10-21% and in reality all the victims paid 10%. The church actually charged as little as 5% and all of this is well within what the market rate was for the given method. The vending machines were as low as 8%. In person it was at times as low as 5%. Online it was at least as low as 10%. The 20-21% would probably have been for new customers and via payment methods that had more risk associated with them. Vending machines in Boston are in the 20% range for comparison. The government tried to claim anything over 1-2% was insane profits when it didn’t take into account that vending Bitcoin through a vending machine has different costs associated with it than selling Bitcoin wholesale via a major online exchange. The rates in practice were below the market rates and it’s only through manipulation of the facts and of folks who do not know what the range is for fees that you can make it out as if this was some sort of “scheming” or catering toward scammers that the government would have you believe. The reason that there were actually very few victims of scams purchasing through the church is that the church had a very strict KYC policy and was relative to the methods used. In other words the policies for the vending machines were less than that of online sales. One business owner testified he was unaware of even a single minor incident until years later and another business owners testified that they were unaware of anyone becoming a victim. This includes a business owner who regularly helped people with Bitcoin, but he said that it was only once that he ever needed to ask someone to leave.
While people DID purchase Bitcoin online via sending cash on a rare occasion, and most was done via wire transfers and cash deposits every person was required to write that they understood they were purchasing Bitcoin from the church. A photo of a drivers license was required and a picture of the bank receipt with very particular wording on it. This ensured that people for the most part didn’t unknowingly purchase Bitcoin and become victims of scammers. Scams take many forms and you can’t stop all scams, but no one who purchased Bitcoin from the church was unaware of what they were doing. No “victim” thought they were purchasing a car while wiring money to the church. Bitcoin was only ever released upon the confirmation that the buyer understood that they were buying Bitcoin from the church. All of this was presented at the trial.
Notice how the agents can’t tell you how many people were impacted even though the state did reveal this statistic. They can’t tell you because they’re manipulating you. They are lying. They just say “many people”. The reality is a few people did lose a lot, but it was not as a result of the church or failures of the church to do KYC. These people lost much of their money via purchasing Bitcoin from various sellers. There were hundreds if not thousands of people selling Bitcoin. They had 7-8 victims testify, but not all of these victims were actually victims in the end. The restitution hearing is occurring on January 8th, but even before this date determines how many victims there are a number of them have been dropped. That is they’re NO LONGER victims. You would think they’d have to prove that these people were actually victims BEFORE the trial started. That is sadly not how the real world works though. In the real world you get convicted based on lies told by prosecutors, “victims”, and others with a financial interest in the case. Then who is and isn’t an actual “victim” gets figured out after the trial is over. If you throw enough “victims” up to testify it sounds like someone was harmed, but it doesn’t make it true, and certainly even if these are genuine victims it’s not the case that the church partook. In fact the judge ruled Ian did NOT have knowledge of the crime and one of the charges were thrown out as a result. Other charges should have been thrown out as well, but apparently thinking about money laundering is illegal, but knowledge is a requirement of actual money laundering. So they can convict you of conspiracy to launder money without any actual money laundering ever having occurred. And in reality without ever having thought of money laundering given that the church took many steps to thwart would-be money launders.
They claim we used the word “victimless financial crimes”, but to the extent this has some truth there are victimless financial crimes. This case is evidence of that. Whose the victim of this crime? There is a victim of a third party who actually duped someone maybe, but there is no victim of the crime here committed by the accused. Ian isn’t being accused of targeting elderly people or targeting scammers. At various point the prosecution admitted that much even if they did say it at other points. The government and the judge agreed in two separate hearings involving Renee and Mr Nobody that no one ever lost a dime. There was zero restitution owed by anyone else because there were no losses yet somehow this has now changed. Now there are victims who Ian owes money to even though there were not victims of the crimes. There were victims of third parties of which Ian didn’t know or have anything to do with… but no direct victims (and this assumes what we are being told is correct since no evidence was presented to prove these folks were victims of third parties beyond some testimony of the victims of which couldn’t even clearly remember or identify who or where they bought Bitcoin from).
The protections for consumers are a farce. The government wants you to believe these were all elderly folks yet many of the so-called victims were younger than the judge, prosecutor, and defense lawyer in the case. They also use an interesting choice of words. They facilitated money laundering, but didn’t know of the money laundering. The banks in that regard all facilitated money laundering too, but didn’t know of the money laundering occurring. Somehow one little peace of paper somehow immunizes the banks and despite the church doing more than the banks to stop scams they want to hold the sellers of Bitcoin to a higher standard. Or at least these sellers. Remember, this isn’t about Bitcoin. It’s about one agent having a grudge against free staters and libertarians. How many different “crimes” does an agent have to investigate over close to two decades before he finally gets his “man”? Apparently two arrests and a disparagement of a mans reputation I suppose is the answer to this one.
Rather than make work for yourself government agents… if you really care about these “victims” maybe you should focus on actually getting laws passed to help stop vulnerable folks from being so easily victimized. The banks didn’t stop these people from wiring “large” sums of money to parties they didn’t know. It wasn’t little old vending machines in Keene New Hampshire that were the problem. It was that there was and is zero measures in place for “vulnerable” people to wire away life savings. A seller of Bitcoin can’t know if the buyer has billions of dollars and a $25,000 purchase is nothing to sneeze at. A bank on the other hand would or at least might know.
Of course if we actually solved this problem through real measures law enforcement would be out of a job, so of course they don’t want to actually solve this problem. The solution boils down to simple mathematical algorithms. You don’t need to regulate money transmission at all outside of traditional banking institutions. All you need to do is require a two-step confirmation process on the wiring of funds over a certain threshold over a particular period of time for a particular demographic. This can be based on how much is in an account, how much is normally sent out, and age. Someone whose 20 might have zero checks. Someone whose 55 might have an algorithm that stops wire transactions that are 1.5x their normal monthly expenditure / withdrawal. This shouldn’t stop them from conducting the wire, but if a 2nd person now needs to sign off on it is required it makes the amount of hoop jumping a scammer does significantly higher. Or they may need to stop in at the bank to do the wire and the bank employee maybe has to accept a certain amount of risk. That is if they wire $100,000 and it turns out to be a scam they’re on the hook for a weeks wages. Of course none of this should stop someone from spending their own money and risking everything … including sending it away to a scammer… but … it would make it more difficult for someone to be scammed and be able to excuse it away as “someone should have stopped me”. If you are really that incapable of managing your own money maybe it’s time to hand that responsibility off to someone else and stop blaming innocent intermediaries that are just doing what you asked. The rest of society should not be burdened because there are dumb or vulnerable people in the world.
The bank accounts didn’t get shut down because the rules weren’t being followed as the government is now claiming. The bank accounts got shut down mostly as a result of attempts by scammers to get elderly folks to wire funds that were then later realized to be scams. When the victim went in and told the bank the bank would pull the money back. If the money is pulled back the receiving bank has to deal with it. The seller has to deal with it. Everyone has to deal with it. The receiving bank now starts asking questions. It turns out that every receiving bank agreed with the church in regard to the KYC policy and thus the church never lost any money except for in one incident where Ian realized he made a mistake. In that instance he refunded the customer or otherwise didn’t fight it. In all the other instances he won and the receiving bank agreed with the church. Accounts may have been shut down, but it wasn’t because of a lack of KYC or criminality of some kind. The banks didn’t outright say the reason they shut down accounts typically, but it always occurred when customers pulled back money whether it was someone trying to scam the church directly (aka a scammer sent money from his own bank, then claimed he was scammed when he wasn’t) or indirectly via third party victims. The point is there was not ever a situation where “receiving bank detects scam” or lack of KYC compliance and shuts account down. The only possible time that might have occurred was with a credit union. The humorous thing is the credit union expert testified that they were allowed to permit the transactions to occur for a long while and despite suspicions no issues ever occurred. They later killed the account without money getting pulled back. That account was I believe not used to sell Bitcoin humorously. There were a dozen or so accounts, but this was over a period of 5 years. It’s not what the government is making it out to be. The church took steps to minimize the likelihood of scams because it was in everyone’s interest to stop scamming.
The government says these accounts were shut down due to suspicious activity yet that just isn’t the case. At best they can claim that may have occurred with a single credit union account that was not used to sell Bitcoin. None of the banks were brought in to testify to this “suspicious activity” claim or reason as to why an account closure occurred. None of these banks would ever say why they shut down an account either when asked by the church. There is no substance behind these agents claims that the accounts were being shut down due to suspicious activity. The agents say this and that, but the truth is somewhere else. What exactly was suspicious exactly too? Why was it that accounts were only closed after sending banks pulled money back? If an account has been used for 6 months to a year and a half with the same type of activity and no closure why did it take so long? It’s not suspicious activity that resulted in account closures. It was sending banks pulling money back that resulted in their closures. This doesn’t mean these people would have lose their money either. The sender would have had to sign a receipt saying that they understood they were buying Bitcoin from the church. This may have actually resulted in accounts getting shut down as those would-be victims may have realized that they were being scammed and gone to their bank to try and undo the transaction. In some respect that is the point of all this, but receiving banks aren’t going to like that. Undoubtedly this was more of a “we’ll take your money until it’s no longer in our interest to do so” situation. The banks never lost any money according to the government, but they did profit off all the fees they charged.
The church donation point they keep harping on was more of a handful of senders writing it as the reason they were sending the money. I have no idea if these were outright donations or the people just considered the proceeds donations or what the story was. There were all sorts of reasons people would put down as to why they were sending out a wire. Often they’d write investment or something else entirely.
The government wants you to believe that because a dozen accounts existed that can be tied to crypto by different people that it somehow is evidence of bank fraud. This just isn’t the case. They took accounts opened by different people for different entities and different reasons and put them all together and said look here all these accounts is evidence of crime! They connected the accounts through malicious descriptions. For example Ian referred customers at one point or another to Aria and even if there was no profit in it they’re now claiming it’s “one thing” or one business. Now because it’s one business those different accounts being opened is somehow bank fraud.
The series of events was more along the lines of Ian having an account in his own name, selling Bitcoin for the church, then using an account specifically for the Shire Free Church to sell Bitcoin. Then at some point it made sense to open an account specifically for selling Bitcoin and keep the Bitcoin sales separate from the other Shire Free Church account(s) (which by the way is actually what you’re suppose to do). So a DBA was registered with the state to that end and an account opened. Effectively it’s a logical succession of account creation over a 5+ year period. Over a few year period some accounts were closed, but not because of suspicious activity. It was because of scammers victims going to their bank and saying they were scammed. The sending banks would claw the money back. This would start a tug of war. Ian would have to prove that the sender knew what they were buying and the church won every case. The account would remain shut down, but not because of suspicious activity or non-compliance with KYC or anything of that nature. No bank employee ever testified to that and they would always refuse to say why an account was closed. However with enough accounts closed it becomes obvious. You need to try and minimize receiving monies that are derived from fraud before it hits your account rather than after. After the fact you can send money back maybe, but you can’t stop someone from trying to wrongly ‘claw it back’. Even when you win the account will remain closed.
Suspicious activity isn’t a crime either. It’s effectively occurs through routine activity like making deposits. If you go to the bank every day and your business brings in $7,000-$8,000 in cash because it’s a cash business that might get picked up as “suspicious activity”. It’s not illegal, but it falls within certain amounts that the bank has to report it even though its entirely routine for you and the reason you are doing it is because the bank is suppose to keep your money safe right? What would the alternative be? Keeping the money In a safe and then doing a weekly deposit? Well, a $50,000 deposit is also suspicious because of the amount of cash you are now depositing all at once. No matter how you do it the government thinks that is suspicious. Did you just buy a house and just made $150k wire and have never done that before? Well, you’re now suspicious too. There are millions of these suspicious activity reports that get filed. If you haven’t had one or another report filed on you I’d be shocked.
There was no evidence presented to suggest that large amounts of cash was dealt with outside of the vending machines. The banks don’t like dealing with cash. This would likely have been problematic. Cash by mail occurred, but was not common. The cash was mostly from vending machines.
There was no evidence of ANY profit being made. They showed the fees were charged, but the money went back into crypto mostly and it all went into the Shire Free Church.
The government didn’t prove its case. The preponderance of evidence is in theory how it works, but the government didn’t even have a blockchain expert to connect any of it together. What they did was make claims, but didn’t back those claims by any evidence. The court ruled in Ian’s favor here in at least one aspect and that was the FBI’s lead expert was NOT an expert. This humorously from a judge who thinks the blockchain is a person. Yea- he stated that in open court. The jury convicted, but the judge also later ruled the jury ruled in error as there wasn’t evidence to prove the knowledge component for at least one of the charges. That charge was thrown out. The defense will argue in future appeals all the charges should have been thrown out.
The co-spend analysis and tools didn’t withstand scientific scrutiny remember. What the government did was put a non-blockchain non-expert on the stand and we’re now suppose to believe that despite that she is NOT an expert what she said was accurate and true. At no point did they even explain blockchain or Bitcoin. They dumb’d it down to a point where they were merely making accusation without any evidence to back it up. You hit send, money appears there. Meanwhile money hasn’t been defined, sending hasn’t been defined. What does sending mean? Nothing moved from one location to another or from one person to another (as a money transmitter would be doing). You might think you understand these words and in some context you probably do. But if you don’t understand how Bitcoin works you wouldn’t understand that “sending” isn’t the same thing nor is it sending it on another behalf. The bank sent money on their customers behalf to the church. They acted as an intermediary. The church didn’t act as an intermediary to move money. The church sold it’s own Bitcoin to it’s customer. It would more akin to a US bank selling you Euros, but where Euros weren’t defined as money because Euros are new and somehow different from other currencies too. Virtual currencies were added to the money transmission law, but not until 2021. This is after the fact and if such a law existed it would be known as an ‘ex post facto law’. That’s not legal in the United States. A law must exist at the time you violated it. They can’t pass a law years later and say you broke this law that didn’t exist at the time you committed a a given act.
They’re not telling the trust again about everyone taking a plea deal (minus Ian Freeman anyway). The government dropped the charges against Colleen Fordham. She never took a plea deal and was one of the most respectable individuals in that she refused to take a plea deal. Mr Nobody was bullied into taking a plea default. His circumstances were such that he’d likely have seen a more serious outcome as a result of prior activism. Mr Nobody stood up to the FBI in 2012 refusing to wear a wire into the Keene activist center. They were after Ian Freeman. For his refusal the FBI had the state arrest him over the illegal sale of marijuana. He took that to trial and lost. He spent a year in a cage already defending Ian Freeman. While it is probably the case he should have continued to fight it Mr Nobody already had spent six months locked up over this for at best a seriously minor role in it all. Colleen Fordham didn’t even have a cryptocurrency wallet at the time and hadn’t for a number of years. They arrested her likely in an effort to get at Ian. The same is likely the case for Renee and Andrew Spenella. Andrew wasn’t even aware of what was going on. His name just happened to be on one of the bank accounts. Renee was more involved, but had not been involved for a while. She had long ago moved on. The FBI actually attempted to intimidate Renee into testifying on behalf of the FBI and this occurred 8 months or so prior to the FBI raiding. This and another incident more than tipped off the Crypto6 and community that a raid was coming. However there is a bit of thought by some that if the FBI was going to do something they probably would have done it already. However between that and the undercover FBI agent it was pretty clear that the 6AM raid was real when it finally arrived. I will admit at first I thought the FBI was elsewhere that morning… and well, they were sort of, but I didn’t immediately think Bitcoin and simultaneous coordinated raid on a half dozen of my closest friends. That took 30 seconds and about the amount of time it took me to get my car out of the driveway. I headed straight to the main location they’d be targeting: The Free Talk Live studio. I will also mention Aria did hold out on taking a plea deal and likely only got time as a result of that delay. Ultimately it’s hard to stand up to a government with unlimited resources, 100s of agents, and millions of dollars spent in an effort to entrap you in a crime you didn’t actually commit.
Despite the governments attempt to force people to testify against Ian in the Crypto6 case including otherwise would-be co-defendant it was mostly to little benefit of the government. Nothing was revealed that wasn’t already well known. What Ian did wasn’t a crime. Chris Reetman (Colleene’s husband) testified at trial for instance that he believed Ian wasn’t required to register with FinCEN even though had he gotten another crypto vending venture off the ground he would have registered. The reason for this is because of how the vending machines would have been operated. The church only ever sold its own Bitcoin. Chris on the other hand would be connecting his vending machines to an exchange and in that context he would be acting as an intermediary rather than an individual or entity just selling its own Bitcoin.
They were forced into pleading guilty under the full threat and significant violence of the government. No one genuinely admitted to anything. You forced words out of his mouth at the threat of violence.
What they also fail to state in telling us about the restitution / sentence and how Ian will pay the victims more rather than the government is that Ian requested that the penalty be minimized so as to maximize the amounts going to the victims of third party scammers should that be ordered. It was not the government requesting this. Ian would rather people who harmed him (the “victims” who testified) get more money than for the state to get anything. Why? At lest these “victims” aren’t likely to go and utilize that money to commit violence again others. The government on the other hand absolutely will utilize that money to harm other peaceful people. This is the difference between Ian and the government. The government claims to care about you whereas Ian actually cares about you.
Again they change what they claim the fees charged were. At one point during the trial it was 10-20% that they were claiming. Now it’s 5-15% in this podcast. Someone clearly read my prior posts at Free Keene. The only reporting of a 5% fee was from me. Almost no one else was aware of this number as it was an in-person number at a particular point in time many years ago and the church rarely sold to people in person. Keep in mind this was not always 5% so you may have paid 10% in later years as the costs of operating the vending machines and selling Bitcoin went up. At all points these fees were well within or even below market rates. At the time the 5% in-person rate was charged the vending machines were around 8%. Closer to Boston the non-church FinCEN registered vending machines were charging around 20%. This blows the idea that people are paying this “high fee” out of the water. KYC FinCEN registered and compliant sellers were charging substantially more than the church and the online exchanges were probably in the 1-2% range. 5% once you account for the additional labor involved and other costs isn’t so out there.
The agents in the podcast also speak of bank fees that are in the few percent range and act as if this is evidencing that it makes no sense to buy crypto at this rate. The implication is only criminals would buy and spend Bitcoin at this rate. This argument falls flat on its face once you consider that a business purchasing goods with a credit card that pays 3-5% in bank fees (credit card fees) for the goods and then turns around and sells those goods to you and also pays with a credit card just resulted in the banks netitng 6-10%. In other words the price has to jump on those goods by 10%, not the “few percent” the government is claiming. It costs a lot more to use banks than crypto. With Bitcoin or probably better compared these days to Bitcoin Cash you’d not pay anywhere near this even if you pay 10% to acquire it. The problem here is the receiver doesn’t pay 3-5% to receive your crypto once those dollars are crypto (that would be the company you end up spending that crypto you bought). This enables many merchants to discount the price of the goods for those who pay with crypto. My business offers free shipping as an example. Others offer discounts as high as 10%. It’s only through ignorance and a lack of understanding of the banking system that you can make this argument against crypto or fees sound rational. However as was pointed out some people use crypto not to save money- that is only a side effect. No. Some of us use crypto out of principle. We want to spread peace and one way to do that is by undermining the ability of government to skim value off the inflating of the dollar or other government fiat currencies (aka Euros, British Pound, etc). This is why Bitcoin is popular in libertarian circules and got adopted in libertarian circles prior to the speculators figuring out they could make a dime off it. Many today do utilize it as an investment vehicle, but that has NEVER been the reason I use crypto.
They talk about seizing 3 million in cash and cryptocurrency. The humorous part of this is that about ~$4 million of that which was seized (at today’s exchange rate anyway) was money donated to the church in 2016. It was NOT fees charged from selling Bitcoin. I’m sure the evidence to this end will be forthcoming at some point, but I also am sure plenty of people in libertarian circles are already well aware of this and witnessed that donation first hand. Maybe there is even video of this somewhere. I have not looked, but it’s also the most likely scenario given acquiring such item years after the bars were discontinued would have been costly. Given Ian and the church were around at that time regardless of what you believe about Ian it’s the most likely route into the church’s hand.
There isn’t a question about where the money went. One of the governments agents testified to the fact that most of it went right back into purchasing Bitcoin for the churches coffers. So the church didn’t get to keep $10 million dollars. At best if the church received $10 million and the average fee was 10% then it would appear the church netted $1 million. That isn’t really the case though as the church had to pay to acquire the Bitcoin and it had to pay landlords to rent the space the vending machines existed in. The church had to hire contractors to fill vending machines. The church had to do technical support for people not super familiar with Bitcoin (another reason someone would buy Bitcoin from the church likely rather than go through complicated KYC procedures, though the churches online sales were just as if not more complicated despite the lies the agents are telling). Now where did the rest of the money go? Isn’t it obvious? And shouldn’t you know that already? The Shire Free Church funded the construction of orphanages in Africa, helped the homeless in Keene, turned a church building into a Mosque for another persecuted minority, and contributed to many different worthwhile projects. You just refuse to acknowledge the good work of the church and its participants. As we’ve stated all along government employees are the real scum of the universe. They’re the ones stealing and using violence and coercion to get their way. They call it taxation and justify it through laws. These laws have real victims resulting in people losing their homes and businesses. It’s immoral, but the real scammers in this case are those falsely claiming to be going after “fraud” and humorously maybe sort of scammers. The governments own “victims” who testified in the crypto6 case all stated the FBI was NOT interested in going after the scammers. They only ever wanted Ian Freeman the “victims” claimed. It was only after calling the government out that they brought in a fed to claim something was “happening” in regard to going after the actual scammers in this case. That is NONE of the crypto6. Where are those scammers now Mr FBI??? I thought you were going to do something about the actual scammers? That’s right. Just another lie from your federal government.
There was a clear use. You just ignored it. We’ve been reporting on where that money went this entire time. We talked about it on Free Talk Live. We wrote about it at FreeKeene.com. To claim it wasn’t advertised is absurd. Aria posted about it online at least in relation to the Reformed Satanic Church. Completely separate from the Shire Free Church mind you, but Ian wrote about the Shire Free Church and we talked about it on Free Talk Live all the time. There was no paperwork filed (the church was registered with the state sadly just so you a-holes couldn’t claim it was fake) with the government, but that doesn’t mean it got spent on sex, drugs, and fancy cars. If it had the FBI would know about it because the government SURVEILLED the churches studio, infiltrated via agents, and followed us around for the last 7+ years. They mapped out Ian’s network not unlike that of the Mafia. It was disgusting considering that all Ian ever wanted was more freedom and peace in the world.
There is nothing wrong with cash and there is nothing wrong with Bitcoin (well, as it existed years ago). The two are more alike than dissimilar. Retaining the freedom of cash is NOT immoral. Your lies won’t succeed in undermining our freedom or our movement.
I ask one last question! What financial benefit did ANY of us get from this so-called scheme you claim. Last I checked there is zero evidence of ANYONE benefiting. Not at least by the size of the claimed scheme. If the one-bedroom Ian shares with his wife or ex-girlfriend counts then OK! But that’s an absurd claim and the IRS said that was 100% OK. It did not constitute taxable income for which Ian would have had to file a return, but even that is a bit much as the churches wealth was not from selling Bitcoin. It pre-dated it. But seriously- you’re not suggesting the government spent millions of dollars over 5 years to get Ian for the sake of the one-room, food, the clothes on his back, and the gas in the churches vehicle are you? That would be the most absurd waste of stolen (taxes) money ever.
No one facilitated scammers. No one! The Shire Free Church implemented a STRONGER KYC policy than any of the banks that wired money to the church. This is where said policies were warranted and no evidence exists to suggest that had a piece of paper been filed with this or that agency that the world would somehow magically be a safer place no matter how much you may want that to be true.
As to how to look at Ian and the Crypto6? I will hold Ian up as a hero, I will hold up Mr Nobody as a hero. Ian is a potential martyr particularly depending on how things continue to unfold on appeal, and certainly everyone is a victim of big corrupt government and the thieves calling themselves employees of the federal government. I will also give my respects to all the others connected to this case who suffered at the hands of government with one exception. A lying thieving fake collaborator of government: Melanie Neighbors. The Crypto6 stood relatively strong against the beatings of government and there is nothing more I could possibly ask of anyone moving to the free state. These people took the statement of intent to it’s maximum interpretation and for that I respect them greatly:
“exert the fullest practical effort toward the creation of a society in which the maximum role of government is the protection of life, liberty, and property.”