Pastor pocketed $150,000 in bribes in Bitcoin scheme


(NEWSWEEK) — A New Jersey pastor was found guilty of pocketing $150,000 from shady bitcoin traders in exchange for giving them control of a credit union he headed so they could run it as a front for their bitcoin exchange.

The pastor, Trevón Gross, was found guilty along with programmer Yuri Lebedev by a Manhattan federal court jury on Friday. Anthony Murgio, the founder of the exchange,, pleaded guilty in January.

In 2013, Murgio founded and Lebedev helped run it. The exchange operated through a phony front company called Collectables Club in order to fool banks into thinking illegal bitcoin transactions were legitimate sales of stamps and sports memorabilia. By posing as a site for philatelists and sports nerds and by miscoding credit and debit card transactions, the pair tricked banks into processing more than $10 million in bitcoin-related deals, according to prosecutors.

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