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Charges against Colorado bitcoin trader dropped
In a major turn of events, the indictment against Burt Wagner has been dismissed by a district court judge.
Wagner, a Colorado-based bitcoin trader, had been charged by the US Attorney's Office for operating an unlicensed money transmitting business in the state of Colorado in late 2014. He faced up to five years in prison and a $250,000 fine if found guilty.
Judge William Martinez issued an order to drop the criminal case against Wagner and charges be dismissed "without prejudice".
"I appreciate the US Attorney's Office doing the right thing and dismissing the criminal case against my client. With this dismissal, Burt can begin the process of resuming regular life. It has been a true privilege to represent him. I could not be happier for Burt and his family", Brian Klein, Wagner's attorney, said in a statement.
Wagner's family raised over 12,000 GBP in donations, including bitcoin, to fight the allegations. According to an online post, the total cost, including lawyers, damage to house and property during the raids and the cost of replacing equipment, was nearly $250,000.
The harrowing ordeal that Wagner and his family went through, including his time in solitary confinement, will probably leave a deep impact. This case in particular has brought to light the dangers of an overbearing government. Wagner proved that if you take them on, you can win, but everyone is not in a position to bear the high cost involved in fighting back.