TYLER, Texas (KETK) — A man was sentenced to federal prison for his role in a cryptocurrency money laundering scheme in East Texas, according to a release.

Deependra Bhusal, 46, of Irving, pleaded guilty on April 30, 2021, to conspiracy to commit money laundering and was sentenced to 3 years and 10 months in prison by a U.S. judge.

According to information presented in court, Bhusal was involved in a multi-year money laundering conspiracy involving the laundering of criminal proceeds derived from several scams. 

Bhusal’s role in the money laundering conspiracy was to open bank accounts and mailboxes that were used to receive and use victim funds, to engage in subsequent financial transactions. The transactions were routinely structured in amounts under $10,000 in an effort to evade reporting requirements and to conceal the nature and source of the criminal proceeds, and to move the criminal proceeds to foreign co-conspirators, the release said.

Authorities say that Bhusal and his co-conspirators routinely exchanged the criminally-obtained money for cryptocurrency and sent the cryptocurrency to foreign co-conspirators.

The release stated that Bhusal and his co-conspirators traveled to Longview where they tried to exchange approximately $450,000 in criminal proceeds for Bitcoin.

In the course of the operation, officials said Bhusal was personally responsible for laundering $1,437,358.99 in criminal proceeds.

On March 10, alleged co-conspirators Lois Boyd, 75, of Amelia Court House, Virginia, and Manik Mehtani, 33, of McLean, Virginia, were named in an indictment by a federal grand jury, charging them with a violation of the Travel Act, money laundering and money laundering conspiracy.

If convicted, Boyd and Mehtani face up to 20 years in federal prison.

This effort is part of an Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Forces (OCDETF) operation. OCDETF identifies, disrupts, and dismantles the highest-level criminal organizations that threaten the United States using a prosecutor-led, intelligence-driven, multi-agency approach.

This case is being investigated by the U.S. Secret Service and the U.S. Postal Inspection Service and is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Nathaniel C. Kummerfeld and L. Frank Coan, Jr.