Reggie Fowler sentenced to 6 years for crypto ‘shadow banking’.

Reginald Fowler, previously the co-owner of the Minnesota Vikings and a former NFL team owner, has been given a six-year prison sentence for operating as a “shadow bank” in the cryptocurrency sector. Fowler was involved in over $700 million worth of unregulated transactions over a 10-month period in 2018. The US Attorney’s Office in New York released a statement on June 5th stating that the 63-year-old has been sentenced to a total of 75 months on bank fraud and money laundering charges.

The former co-owner of Minnesota Vikings has been sentenced to 75 months in prison for providing shadow banking services to cryptocurrency exchanges https://t.co/Nc2PVhEajw

— US Attorney SDNY (@SDNYnews) June 5, 2023

This marks the end of a five-year-long case that began in 2019 when Fowler was arrested for alleged shadow banking. Shadow banking refers to bank-like activities that are carried out by non-bank entities, often illegally.

Initially, Fowler pleaded not guilty to all charges in 2020, but he changed his plea to guilty in April 2022. In his latest statement, U.S. Attorney Damian Williams said that Fowler misled and deceived several banks through a string of lies.

“Reginald Fowler evaded federal law by processing hundreds of millions of dollars of unregulated transactions on behalf of cryptocurrency exchanges as a shadow bank. He did so by lying to legitimate U.S. financial institutions, which exposed the U.S. financial system to serious risk.”

Williams then added that Fowler “victimized” the Alliance of American Football (AAF) by lying about his net worth to own a “substantial” stake in the league.

Fowler managed to carry out his crimes by establishing Global Trading Solutions (GTS) around February 2018, which worked with Crypto Capital and other crypto firms operating out of Israel. There, Fowler, GTS, and the crypto firms sidestepped a license by lying to banks to open accounts that were used to process crypto transactions.

OK -now at crypto Fowler sentencing. It was set for 10: FOwler just came in at 10:19 am. Inner City Press is covering the case https://t.co/S97h82I3FP and will live tweet, thread below pic.twitter.com/HapbKHoHaz

— Inner City Press (@innercitypress) June 5, 2023

Fowler opened a dozen of these accounts to facilitate these crypto transactions without the banks’ knowledge and failed to disclose GTS’s relationship with the crypto firms. According to Williams, at no point were Fowler, GTS, nor any of the Crypto Companies ever licensed as a money transmitting business in the United States, as required by federal law.

In addition to the prison sentence, Fowler was ordered to forfeit $740 million and pay over $53 million in restitution to the AAF. Other convictions included bank fraud conspiracy, operation of an unlicensed money-transmitting business, conspiracy to operate an unlicensed money-transmitting business, and wire fraud.

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