MIAMI – A Miami Beach resident is facing charges in Ohio amid an ongoing federal investigation centered on the cryptocurrency ATM company that he founded and that investigators reported profited from the victims of scammers.
The U.S. Secret Service’s task force against cyber fraud and money Laundering investigated Sonny Meraban, the owner of S and P Solutions, operating as Bitcoin of America, or BOA. Miami-Dade police officers arrested him on Wednesday and federal agents conducted a search of his home in Miami Beach.
Prosecutors in Ohio accused him and his two co-conspirators in Illinois, his father Reza Mehraban, 75; and William Suriano, 69, his attorney and company manager; of corrupt activity while operating the cryptocurrency kiosks since 2002.
Prosecutors accused them of operating the kiosks without a money transmission license and of falsely representing their capabilities to regulators in order to avoid detection while profiting from fraud victims’ transfers — even after being notified.
Ohio’s Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Michael C. O’Malley announced Thursday that a grand jury had indicted the trio.
“I would like to personally thank the United States Secret Service for their incredible hard work throughout the investigation of this case,” O’Malley said in a statement. “I would also like to thank the additional 28 agencies that worked alongside our office and the Secret Service.”
The long list of agencies involved in Meraban’s case includes the Miami-Dade Police Department, the Miami-Dade State’s Attorney’s Office, the South Florida CyberCrimes Task Force, the FBI, U.S. Customs and Border Protection, the U.S. Treasury, and the Federal Trade Commission.
Miami-Dade corrections booked Meraban, who is about 6 feet 5 inches tall and weighs about 260 pounds, at about 4:15 p.m., on Tuesday at the Turner Guilford Knight Correctional Center, where he was awaiting extradition to Ohio on Thursday afternoon.
Meraban is facing charges in Cuyahoga County of engaging in a pattern of corrupt activity, conspiracy, eight counts of money laundering, eight counts of receiving stolen property, 33 counts of license requirement violations, five counts of tampering with records, one count of possessing criminal tools, and one count of taxation.