Arizona-based bitcoin trader convicted of money laundering

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In this April 3, 2013 photo, Mike Caldwell, a software engineer, holds a 25 Bitcoin token at his shop in Sandy, Utah. Bitcoin is an online currency that does not involve banks, credit card issuers or other third parties.(SOURCE: AP Photo/Rick Bowmer) In this April 3, 2013 photo, Mike Caldwell, a software engineer, holds a 25 Bitcoin token at his shop in Sandy, Utah. Bitcoin is an online currency that does not involve banks, credit card issuers or other third parties.(SOURCE: AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)
PHOENIX (AP) -

A Mesa man who was a peer-to-peer bitcoin trader has been convicted of money laundering.

Prosecutors say Thomas Mario Costanzo was found guilty of five counts of money laundering by a federal jury in Phoenix on Wednesday.

He's scheduled to be sentenced on June 11.

Each of the five convictions for money laundering carries a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison.

Evidence at trial showed that federal agents began an investigation of Costanzo in 2014 after identifying an advertisement he posted on a peer-to-peer bitcoin exchange website.

Costanzo advertised he was willing to engage in cash transactions up to $50,000.

Over a two-year period, Costanzo took about $165,000 in cash from the agents who he believed to be heroin and cocaine traffickers and exchanged it for bitcoin.

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