LA man to plead guilty in bitcoin money laundering scheme

LOS ANGELES (AP) — A Los Angeles man has agreed to plead guilty to running a $25 million money laundering operation whose clients included darknet drug dealers.

Twenty-five-year-old Kunal Kalra was charged Friday and agreed to plead guilty to charges including money laundering and distributing methamphetamine. He could face up to life in prison.

Authorities say from 2015 through 2017, Kalra ran a business that exchanged dollars for bitcoins. He acknowledged making exchanges for drug dealers and other criminals.

Kalra also acknowledged operating a bitcoin kiosk — essentially an ATM —where customers could exchange cash for virtual currency and vice versa without identifying themselves.

Authorities also say Kalra sold two pounds of meth to an undercover law enforcement agent.

Kalra also faces money laundering charges in Texas that were filed earlier this month.