I noticed because I was trying to start a trade with him. Possibly I’m the first person on the internet to notice, and it’s right when r/Monero and r/CryptoCurrency are dark because of the Reddit protest, so it’s difficult to warn people. I see r/xmrtrader is still up; I may make a burner account and post it there, or someone else is welcome to.
He formerly had agoradesk and localmonero accounts under his real name for years. About 5 months ago he deleted them and created the current pseudonymous account. He has quite a web presence under his real name, and is a crypto “OG”, active in Bitcoin since at least 10 years ago. He often had the lowest price for XMR via cash by mail (~4% above the rate on CoinMarketcap) and would accept trades up to $10k.
He recently set his account to require trade requests to be approved by him before becoming live, and since a few days ago (06.08), he stopped responding to trade requests or trade chat, but his ad was still up. LocalMonero makes it easy to go on a ‘Buying vacation’ with one click, so that was odd. His profile still said “Last seen just now” until 3 days ago, which suggests he had a keepalive script. I tried to SMS text him via an anonymous provider and received no response.
So, I was thinking, dead, arrested, or hospitalized? Or maybe just on vacation? OpticBit recently died. Hospitalized but unconscious? People typically have their phones with them in the hospital these days. Arrested? I started checking for death and arrest records, which has to be done on a county by county basis. There were no such records in his home county, but he still wasn’t responding to texts. This morning, I tried another neighboring county, and found that he was listed as in custody, arrested by the US Marshals, who execute federal warrants, booking date and time June 09 2023 13:00, no charges listed yet, but listed as ineligible for bail.
If you have traded with him, you have his name and address and can confim this. I’m not sure that I should publicly dox him in the process of warning people, but it will likely become public soon enough, and I can provide it to moderators for verification. Find a map of his state, find the large county directly to the north of the one where he lives, find their arrests & booking records web site. Find his age or DOB via a people search engine. Search with his name and age, and the arrest record comes up. I have a screenshot of it.
If you have traded with him, consider your position, because the feds now have his computers, cell phone records, sms texts, any records he kept, potentially his localmonero account password to view all his prior trades and trading partners (they do have a ‘delete my account and all information’ option which trading partners can use), any postal mail that was still in his possession, and likely records of inbound tracking numbers, and possibly scans of parcels.
The US government is suddenly declaring war on crypto. Everyone’s answer to how to buy Monero without invasive KYC has been “Just use LocalMonero, cash by mail.” LocalMonero have a massive ad at the top of r/CryptoCurrency ever since Binance delisted XMR in Poland, Spain, France and Italy a few days ago. Maybe they were a tad overconfident in raising their profile so much? I had been thinking that it would be rather easy to shut down cash by mail onramps - all you have to do is make a trade request and the sellers send you their address, and then you arrest them for operating an illegal money service business. I didn’t say anything because I didn’t want to give them ideas, but it seems that they are already doing it.
Screenshot of his current terms of trade for posterity in case LocalMonero remove it: