Charles Shrem to Plead Guilty on Lesser Charges

By Aug 29, 2014 7:43 PM EST

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Charles Shrem appearing via video robot at a bitcoin conference in Chicago.

NEW YORK (InsideBitcoins) — Charles Shrem, an early-adopter and outspoken advocate of bitcoin will plead guilty next week to one count of aiding and abetting an unlicensed money transmission.

He had previously been charged with money laundering, unlicensed money transmission, and failing to file suspicious activity reports with government banking authorities.

Shrem, whose travels have been limited by court order, has been a popular speaker at bitcoin conferences, often appearing via video robot. He was arrested in January — along with an associate, Robert Faiella –accused of selling over $1 million in bitcoins in a money laundering scheme involving users of “Silk Road,” the Dark Web black market that was ultimately shut down. Faiella is expected to attend the plea hearing Thursday, but his attorney has not released information regarding if the co-defendant has also struck a plea bargain.

Shrem’s apparent deal, reported in The Wall Street Journal late this afternoon, could mean time in prison, but he said he will ask the bitcoin community to write letters on his behalf in an effort to sway the judge on sentencing, which could be a decision several months away.

“I’m happy that it’s coming to a close,” Shrem told the Journal. “My life is not ending here. I’m overall happy and satisfied.”

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