You are reading

Sunnyside Man Convicted of Laundering Bitcoin, Faces 25 Years in Prison


Oct. 14, 2022 By Christian Murray

A Sunnyside man faces 25 years in prison after being convicted in Brooklyn federal court Tuesday of laundering bitcoin and operating an unlicensed money transmitting business—as part of a scheme to help customers launder proceeds from drug trafficking.

Mustafa Goklu, 50, was nabbed by the feds in April 2019 about a year after undercover DEA agents began tracking him after he posted an online ad that he could offer as much as $99,999 in cash for Bitcoin–for a fee.

“The defendant offered his customers the ability to launder their criminal proceeds, remain anonymous and conceal where their Bitcoin was coming from so they could continue to engage in drug trafficking and other crimes while avoiding law enforcement detection,” said Breon Peace, the U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, in a statement.

According to the trial, an undercover agent reached out to Goklu in July 2018 looking to exchange Bitcoin for cash after seeing his ad on The agent began exchanging encrypted texts with Goklu before arranging in-person meetings where Bitcoin was exchanged for cash.

Mustafa Goklu, Photo via U.S. Attorney’s Office, Eastern District of NY

The undercover agent met up with Goklu in Sunnyside seven times over a nine-month period to conduct transactions. The exchanges took place in his Mercedes-Benz outside an undisclosed coffee shop in Sunnyside.

The agent, according to court documents, told Goklu that the source of the Bitcoin came from narcotics trafficking and that part of that business involved the sale of oxycodone, Adderall, and marijuana.

The transactions ranged in amount from $5,000 to $50,000 for a total of $133,000. With each transaction the agent would transfer Bitcoin to Goklu’s cryptocurrency wallet—less a 7 to 8 percent fee—and Goklu would provide cash.

Goklu was also found to be engaging in similar Bitcoin exchanges with several other people.

He was arrested in April 2019.

“With today’s verdict, Goklu’s illicit business of converting money from one form to another without a required license has been shut down and the defendant has been convicted for his crimes,” Peace said.

email the author: [email protected]
No comments yet

Leave a Comment
Reply to this Comment

All comments are subject to moderation before being posted.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Recent News

Study exploring alternative sites for controversial new ferry station in Long Island City nears completion

The city is nearing the completion of a study that seeks to examine alternative sites for a new ferry terminal at Hunter Points South Park, which will replace the existing station.

The NYC Economic Development Corp., which oversees the city’s ferry routes, said it is considering the feasibility of four new locations at Hunter Points South Park where a large docking barge would be built to accommodate ferry vessels.

City agrees to clean up radioactive material from city-owned land in Ridgewood: Feds

Jun. 5, 2023 By Bill Parry

New York City has agreed to remediate radioactive materials on the city-owned property located near the former Wolff-Alport Chemical Company facility on Irving Avenue in Ridgewood, and to pay the federal government $1.6 million for costs incurred by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, U.S. Attorney Breon Peace announced Monday. The Wolff-Alport Company operated at the facility at the location from the 1920s until 1954. 

General manager of Cambria Heights McDonald’s recognized as one of the best in the industry

Jun. 5, 2023 By Ethan Marshall

Claire Andrew, the general manager of the McDonald’s in Cambria Heights, was recently honored by the Nation’s Restaurant News, which recognized her as one of the top general managers in the restaurant industry in their 2023 Power List. This honor reflects the hard work and effort she’s put in since she started working for the company around six years ago.