The US Libertarian Party sharply criticized the sentencing of a bitcoin trader on an unlawful money transmission charge this week.
In a statement, Nicholas Sarwark, who serves as chairman of the Libertarian National Committee, blasted the government’s case against Randall Lord, who, along with his son Michael, was sentenced to a prison term late last month following an investigation into their alleged exchange activities.
As CoinDesk reported on 30th May, Randall and Michael Lord were sentenced to prison terms of 46 and 106 months, respectively. Both were charged with running an unlawful money transmission, while Michael Lord was also charged with conspiracy to distribute narcotics.
Sawark said the Liberatrian Party “vigorously condemns” the case against Randall Lord, who previously ran as a Libertarian for a House of Representatives seat in Louisiana during elections in 2012 and 2014.
“Trading bitcoins is perfectly legal. Major retailers such as Microsoft, Expedia, Dell, Overstock, and Whole Foods accept bitcoins. Prosecutors targeted Lord for not being registered with the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN), a bureau of the U.S. Treasury, and for not being licensed to operate as a money service business in his home state of Louisiana.”
Sawark, in his statement, later took aim at the broader political system.
“The problem is overspending by federal politicians, their manipulation and regulation of currencies, and grandstanding prosecutors who get rewarded for convicting people rather than for achieving justice,” he said.
He called for the sentencing to be overturned, asking supporters to “add your voice to ours in demanding freedom for Randall Lord”.
Lord’s sentencing was a recent example of a trend of cases against bitcoin traders in the US. Similar cases have been pursued against traders in Michigan, New York and Arizona, among other states.
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