The case of Crypto Capital co-founder Reginald Fowler will go to trial after he rejected a plea deal from US prosecutors. Fowler, who is charged with running an unlicensed money-transmitting operation, was ready to plead guilty to a single felony but the two sides could not agree on certain conditions and the deal was scrapped, meaning Fowler will now face trial in April.
Fowler and Yosef Ran “Shadow Bank”
Fowler, a former Minnesota Vikings shareholder, was arrested in April 2019 and charged alongside an Israeli woman, Ravid Yosef, who is still at large. The pair are accused of running a “shadow bank” that processed unregulated transactions for crypto exchanges that amounted to hundreds of millions of dollars, taking a cut on each one.
To achieve their ends, Fowler and Yosef allegedly lied to banks to open multiple accounts, which allowed them to circumvent money laundering safeguards, claiming that the account would be used for real estate proceeds.
Fowler and Yosef are alleged to have run their scheme from February to October 2018, during which they conspired to obtain money and other assets “owned by, or under the control of, a financial institution, by means of false and fraudulent pretenses, representations, and promises”. Despite these charges, there are many unanswered questions that prosecutors need answers to if they are to make a watertight case against Fowler, such is the opaque nature of his activities.
Fowler Refuses to Cough up his Money
Fowler, who was forced to take a minority stake in the Vikings in 2005 when he failed to stump up the full $600 million asking price, had been discussing a plea deal with prosecutors from
the U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York, but this was contingent upon Fowler
forfeiting as much as $371 million across more than 50 bank accounts.
However, Fowler only agreed to forfeit what was in the accounts rather than the specific amount, which prosecutors were not satisfied with. As a result Fowler will face justice in the courtroom two months’ time.