Reggie Fowler, ex-owner of an NFL team, gets six years in prison for crypto “shadow banking”

Reggie Fowler, ex-owner of an NFL team, gets six years in prison for crypto “shadow banking”

United States Attorney Damian Williams said the lies of former Minnesota Vikings Co-owner exposed U.S. Financial System to “serious risks.”

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Reginald Fowler was sentenced to 6 years in prison for acting as a “shadow banking” in the crypto sector. This involved $700 million worth of unregulated transactions in a 10 month period in 2018.

According to a press release issued by the United States Attorney’s Office of New York, on June 5, the 63-year old, who was the co-owner and manager of the Minnesota Vikings football team, was sentenced to 75 months in total for charges of bank fraud and money-laundering.

This marks the end to a five-year case that began in 2019, when he had been arrested for shadow banking. The term shadow banking refers to (often illegal), bank-like activities carried out by entities other than banks.

Fowler originally pleaded guilty in 2020 to all charges, but changed his guilty plea in April 2022.

In his most recent statement, U.S. attorney Damian Williams stated that Fowler was able to deceive and mislead several banks through a series of lies:

“Reginald Fowler violated federal law, processing hundreds of millions in unregulated transactions for cryptocurrency exchanges. He was acting as a shadow banking.” He did this by lying to legitimate U.S. Financial Institutions, which exposed the U.S. Financial System to serious risks.”

Williams said Fowler had “victimized the Alliance of American Football” (AAF), a former professional league, by lying about his financial status in order to obtain a “substantial stake” in the league.

The federal prosecutor said, “Let’s be clear: This Office is committed in prosecuting those who lie to banks or skirt the law to conduct their businesses.”

Williams claims that Fowler was able to commit his crimes after establishing Global Trading Solutions around February 2018. GTS worked with Crypto Capital as well as other crypto firms based in Israel.

Fowler GTS, and other crypto firms lied to banks to open accounts used for crypto transactions.

Williams stated that Fowler had opened 12 of these accounts in order to facilitate crypto transactions, without the knowledge of the banks. He also failed to disclose GTS’s relationship with these crypto firms.

“At any point, neither FOWLER nor GTS, or any of the Crypto Companies, were ever licensed in the United States as money-transmitting businesses, as required under federal law.”

Related to: The cryptocurrency market has become a playground of fraudsters

It claimed that one of the crypto firms implicated was iFinex Inc, the parent company of Bitfinex and Tether stablecoin issuer.

Other convictions include bank-fraud conspiracy, operation of a money-transmitting unlicensed business, conspiracy to run an unlicensed business, and wire-fraud.

Fowler, in addition to his prison sentence was also ordered to forfeit $740 millions and pay $53 million to AAF as restitution.

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