On June 24, 201, the United States Department of Justice brought a criminal bill of information against Michael Yusko III. According to the DOJ, under U.S. federal law, any business that engages in “the acceptance of currency, funds, or other value that substitutes for currency from one person and the transmission of currency, funds, or other value that substitutes for currency to another location or person by any means” is deemed to be a money transmitting business. Such businesses include those that trade fiat currency, such as U.S. dollars, for cryptocurrency, such as Bitcoin. These companies must register with the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (“FinCEN”) as money transmitting businesses.

According to the court documents, Yusko as the owner and manager of Nervous Light Capital LLC. He used Nervous Light Capital, along with the bank accounts of four other companies, to sell Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies to customers. However, Yusko did not register any of these companies with FinCEN as money transmitting businesses. If convicted, Yusko may receive a maximum of five years in prison, a maximum $250,000.00 fine, up to three years of supervised release, and a $100 mandatory special assessment.


David Zaslowsky has a degree in computer science and, before going to Yale Law School, was a computer programmer. His practice focuses on international litigation and arbitration. He has been involved in cases in trial and appellate courts across the United States and before arbitral institutions around the world. Many of David’s cases, including some patent cases, have related to technology. David has been included in Chambers for his expertise in international arbitration. He is the editor of the firm's blockchain blog.