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Libertarian Charged With Assaulting Bolduc Now Banned From St A’s

Joa Orga, aka Joe Hart, the Libertarian activist accused of assaulting GOP Senate candidate Don Bolduc Wednesday night, is banned from St. Anselm College property and facing charges of criminal trespass and disorderly conduct. 

“He hit me,” Bolduc is seen saying in a video that captured the brief interaction with Orga.

The incident took place as Bolduc was greeting supporters ahead of his debate with Democratic incumbent Sen. Maggie Hassan. At least one fellow Libertarian says Orga never touched Bolduc.

Goffstown police stated Thursday that Orga, 37, had been told to leave the property by college staff before Bolduc arrived at the New Hampshire Institute of Politics for the debate. Witnesses told NH Journal Orga was seen shouting obscenities and making bizarre statements before Bolduc got there.

Libertarian activist Ian Freeman released videos late Wednesday disputing the narrative that Orga assaulted Bolduc, as Bolduc and at least one other witness claim.

“The guy came at Gen. Bolduc in a threatening way, and he chest bumped or pushed Gen. Bolduc,” said Chris Ager, chairman of the Hillsborough County GOP Committee.

The videos showed Orga, holding what appeared to be a cell phone on a selfie stick, moving quickly toward Bolduc. In a quick sequence of events, Orga made some type of movement before Hillsborough County GOP Chair Chris Ager and another man moved to get Orga away from Bolduc. Police, already circling the area, quickly descended on the group and separated everyone. Bolduc was seen pointing at Orga and saying he was hit.

Bolduc later told a staffer the blow “glanced off” him. He also mentioned it during the debate, in response to a question about political violence and the recent attack on the husband of Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi.

“I am really sorry for what happened to the Speaker’s husband,” Bolduc said. “Nobody should have that happen to them anywhere in America. But it’s a sign of the times. It’s a sign of political problems. Republicans and Democrats fuel issues with people that get them to the point where they are just so upset at an individual that they strike out at them. That’s what happened to me outside, just before I came in here.”

Freeman says Bolduc is lying about the incident, and that Orga never assaulted him. The videos do not show Orga throwing a punch.

“The campaign and Bolduc himself are lying. Joa never threw a punch nor did he even try to touch Bolduc. He did approach him and yell at him about being a warmonger, that’s it,” Freeman said.

Freeman is no stranger to law enforcement. He is currently heading to trial on dozens of federal charges accusing him of money laundering and wire fraud. Freeman was, on paper, kicked out of the Free State Project in 2014 after he repeatedly advocated for lowering the age of consent laws. Despite that public disavowal, Freeman is a frequent presence at Free State Project functions. He was an invited speaker at this year’s Free State Project annual PorcFest.

Orga, a self-described police auditor, has a history of negative interactions with law enforcement. In 2019 he was arrested inside the Worcester, Mass. police station for allegedly being disruptive while filming police. That same year he allegedly cyber-stalked the wife of a Rhode Island police officer after the officer stopped him for a traffic violation.

Orga is free on personal recognizance bail and will be arraigned on Dec. 1 at the Goffstown District Court. The incident remains under investigation and Goffstown police ask anyone with additional information to contact Detective Sergeant Kevin Laroche at (603) 497-4858.

GOP’s Murphy May be Called to Testify in Crypto 6 Case

Keith Murphy, the NHGOP’s hand-picked candidate for state Senate, could end up explaining to a jury his business relationship with the defendants in the infamous Crypto 6 money laundering case.

Ian Freeman, the last of the Keene Crypto 6 defendants headed to trial, faces more than 30 federal felony counts for his Bitcoin business operation, which included running Bitcoin ATMs in various business locations. One of those ATMs was set up in the Manchester location of Murphy’s Taproom, a restaurant owned by the senate candidate.

Freeman’s attorney says he may call Murphy as a witness for the defense.

“All I was doing was providing a little wall space for the machine,” Murphy told NH Journal.

Murphy, a former GOP state representative, was picked by state GOP Chair Stephen Stepanek to replace state Rep. Michael Yakubovich (R-Hooksett) on the November ballot for the District 16 race. Yakubovich dropped out just days after the September 13 primary due to health issues.

“It’s not how you want to be in the Senate, but that’s how it goes,” Murphy said.

Federal law enforcement agents seized the Murphy’s Taproom ATM during the March 2021 raids of several homes and businesses connected to Freeman’s activities. Freeman is accused of operating a multimillion money laundering scheme that helped facilitate online scammers, according to court documents.

Murphy said he has not been in contact with any federal law enforcement agency since the machine was removed.

Freeman’s criminal defense attorney, Mark Sisti, said Murphy may be called as a witness, but it is too early to say definitively. “I don’t know yet,” Sisti said.

 Murphy said he has not been contacted about being a potential witness.

Freeman has maintained he did nothing wrong selling the cryptocurrency through his churches and is adamant that he wants his day in court. Contacted last week, Freeman confirmed he had one of his Shire Free Church Bitcoin ATMs in Murphy’s Taproom since March of 2016.

Murphy said he was never directly involved in exchanging cash for Bitcoin or vice versa. The ATM was in the restaurant as a courtesy for some of his customers, he said.

“We had customers who wanted to pay with Bitcoin,” Murphy said. “This provided a way for them to convert their own money to Bitcoin easily.”

Murphy said he does not remember the exact details of the arrangement he had with Freeman, but said he did not make any money from the machine.

“Occasionally, they would hand me a little money to pay for the electricity. But there was no set fee for the arrangement,” Murphy said.

Murphy’s recollection runs counter to Freeman’s understanding of his own business. According to Freeman, his ATMs brought in money for the host business through a percentage of the total transactions.

“The Shire Free Church is not a business, but we obviously had to compensate our venues for the space/power/internet they provided,” Freeman said. “All our venues received one percent of gross sales from their machine. Many crypto vending machine operators only pay a flat fee per month to their venues. Our venues were very pleased with our arrangement as they did very well on busy months.”

Freeman took in millions of dollars through his Bitcoin exchanges and Bitcoin ATMs, according to court records. He allegedly used personal bank accounts and accounts for made-up churches like the Shire Free Church, the Crypto Church of NH, the Church of the Invisible Hand, and the Reformed Satanic Church, to operate his Bitcoin empire. Part of the scheme Freeman ran helped cyber criminals swindle money from victims of lonely heart scams, according to prosecutors.

Business was good and the government alleges Freeman has secreted away millions of dollars in cash and cryptocurrency.

Four of the other Crypto 6 defendants, Renee Spinella, Andrew Spinella, Aria DiMezzo, and Nobody (also known as Rick Paul), have taken plea deals. The fifth suspect, Colleen Fordham, had her charges dropped earlier this year.

‘Crypto 6’ Freeman Vows to Fight On Despite Plea Agreements

And then there was one. 

Free Keene’s Ian Freeman is the last of the Crypto 6 suspects headed for trial after his co-defendant, self-described trans Satanic anarchist Aria DiMezzo filed a plea agreement in U.S. District Court in Concord.

DiMezzo, 34, will become the fourth suspect to take a plea, following Nobody, formerly known as Rich Paul, 55, Renee Spinella, 26, and Andrew Spinella, 36. The sixth suspect, Colleen Fordham, 63, had the charges against her dropped earlier this year.

Freeman is facing 30 indictments for the alleged scheme.

DiMezzo is pleading guilty to one count of operating an unlicensed money transmitting business that moved between $1.5 and $3.5 million. Her plea agreement states she could face up to five years in prison at sentencing, but will likely be sentenced to a lesser prison term under the deal.

DiMezzo’s attorney, Richard Guerriero, declined to comment before the hearing.

Freeman, 42, vowed to fight the charges against him at trial and blamed the government for persecuting DiMezzo.

“Despite not having any obligation to file any such paperwork in New Hampshire, the federal gang is saying that because Aria didn’t file ‘money transmitter’ papers with them, that now she will be a felon for the rest of her life and may spend years in prison,” Freeman said. “I don’t believe that there is an obligation to file as a money transmitter in order to sell bitcoin, and I’m looking forward to a jury’s decision on that.”

Freeman’s attorney, Mark Sisti, confirmed his client is not taking a plea deal and plans to go to trial.

Freeman is accused of taking in millions of dollars through their Bitcoin exchanges and Bitcoin ATMs with the help of DiMezzo and the others. Freeman reportedly used personal bank accounts and accounts for made-up churches like the Shire Free Church, the Crypto Church of New Hampshire, the Church of the Invisible Hand, and DiMezzo’s Reformed Satanic Church, in order to conduct the bitcoin businesses. He allegedly lied to banks in opening accounts for his churches and other businesses and got the others to open accounts on his behalf, according to court records. Part of the operation for Freeman was to help cyber criminals swindle money from lonely victims, according to the indictments.

Freeman is currently running for state Senate as a Republican.

Freeman, DiMezzo, and Nobody are all part of the Free Keene collective, an offshoot of the Free State Project. The Free State Project made a show of kicking Freeman out of the movement in 2014 after he repeatedly advocated for lowering the age of consent. The Free State Project is a Libertarian initiative to overtake the state’s government. Freeman is an advocate of seceding from the United States of America.

Manchester Dem Rep Resigns, But Still On Primary Ballot

Democrat Manchester Rep. Andrew Bouldin resigned his House seat in early August, nearly two months after filing for re-election to serve a third term in Concord.

Now, Democrats are stuck with a candidate on the ballot who may or may not intend to serve should he win re-election and could eventually trigger a special election to fill the vacancy.

Bouldin was first elected in 2018 along with his then-incumbent wife, Rep. Amanda Bouldin, D-Manchester, in a district that leans Democrat representing Manchester’s Ward 5. Andrew Bouldin was set to run for a third term in the fall, signing up for the election this summer. His name is printed on the September primary ballots, and can not be removed according to Anna Fay, spokesperson for the N.H. Secretary of State’s office.

With no contest in the primary, both Bouldins are likely to move forward to the November general election, save for a last-minute Democrat write-in campaign to try to best Andrew next Tuesday.

“The candidate’s name would remain on the ballot unless they are disqualified (which would happen if they move to another district, for example). If the candidate is disqualified, the candidate’s party is given the opportunity to fill the vacancy,” Fay said. The Secretary of State’s office notes they have not been informed of any disqualifying factors in this instance, and therefore can not declare a candidate vacancy.

Paul Smith, the clerk for the House of Representatives, confirmed Andrew Bouldin’s resignation. The matter has yet to be formally announced to the House, but Smith said it will be part of the next session. Bouldin is the 16th resignation of the session and the 23rd overall vacancy created. Five seats were filled by special elections, three went to Democrats (one pickup, Catherine Rombeau of Bedford) and two were held by Republicans.

In a year Republicans are expected to outperform their averages, the point may be moot. Republican Lisa Freeman won a seat in Manchester’s ward 5 in 2016, edging out Andrew Bouldin by six votes. This year, Scott Mattiello is the lone Republican running in the district so far, but Republicans could nominate a second candidate with 35 write-in votes, or the N.H. Republican Party could appoint a nominee in the days following the primary.

Andrew Bouldin did not respond to a request for comment on his resignation. He was elected in 2018 promising to use his time in the State House to address the opioid epidemic, to reform Valley Street Jail, and to support other progressive causes.

“As your Representative in Concord, I will support expanded access to healthcare including reproductive care and addiction treatment, a minimum wage increase, workers’ rights, clean and efficient energy, access to quality public education for all students, and the right of every eligible voter to vote,” he told Manchester InkLink in his 2018 candidacy announcement.

House Minority Leader Rep. David Cote, D-Nashua, did not respond to a request for comment. Nor did Manchester Democratic Committee chair Alan Raff.

Andrew Bouldin was a reliable progressive vote in the House. In the last session, Andrew Bouldin voted against cutting the business profits tax, he voted against the parental bill of rights, he voted against letting churches and other houses of worship stay open during states of emergency, he voted against displaying the motto “In God We Trust” in schools, and he voted against a ban on late-term abortions.

That progressive voice will go missing even if Andrew Bouldin wins in November. If Andrew Bouldin wins, and declines to be sworn in, the seat will remain open until a vacancy is declared by the House, which could trigger a special election, according to the New Hampshire Secretary of State’s Office. There’s little Democrats can do unless they find a last-minute write-in candidate that can exceed Bouldin’s vote total on Tuesday.

Amanda Bouldin, Andrew Bouldin’s wife and fellow representative of the district has not resigned her seat and is running for re-relection. Amanda Bouldin also did not respond to a request for comment.

Amanda Bouldin moved to New Hampshire in 2008 as part of the libertarian Free State Project, though she’s since moved to the left. Amanda Bouldin’s voting record is largely similar to her husband’s, and she cosponsored a bill to repeal the state’s 24-week abortion ban.

The Bouldins will have one Republican challenger on the ballot in Scott Mattiello. He could not be reached for comment.

Third Crypto 6 Defendant Sentenced in Fraud Case

A third member of the so-called Crypto 6, Andrew Spinella, was sentenced to no jail time last week for his role in the alleged Bitcoin money laundering scheme. 

Spinella was sentenced on Aug. 30 to 18 months probation and a $600 fine in the United States District Court in Concord. He pleaded guilty to one count of wire fraud earlier this year. His wife Renee Spinella, 26, was sentenced last week to three years of supervised release and ordered to pay $2,000 in fines. She also previously pleaded guilty to one count of wire fraud.

Free Keene activist Nobody, formerly Rich Paul, 55, was sentenced to two years of supervised release last month.

That leaves just two of the original six defendants, Ian Freeman, 42, and Aria DiMezzo, 34, now headed for trial on more than 30 felony counts each. Colleen Fordham 62, of Alstead, had the charges against her dropped earlier this year.

Renee Spinella is Freeman’s ex-girlfriend, though the two stayed friendly after they split and after she married Andrew Spinella. The Spinellas reportedly opened bank accounts for Freeman to use as part of his multi-million Bitcoin money laundering operation, according to prosecutors.

Freeman and DiMezzo are accused of taking in millions of dollars through their Bitcoin exchanges and Bitcoin ATMs. The pair also used personal bank accounts and accounts for made-up churches like the Shire Free Church, the Crypto Church of New Hampshire, the Church of the Invisible Hand, and the Reformed Satanic Church, to conduct their Bitcoin businesses. The pair allegedly lied to banks in opening their accounts and got others to open accounts on their behalf, according to court records. Part of the operation for Freeman was to help cyber criminals swindle money from lonely victims, according to the indictments.

Freeman and DiMezzo are currently seeking to have some of the charges dismissed. A hearing on their motion to dismiss is set for Thursday.

Freeman’s Ex Pleads to Wire Fraud in Crypto Scheme

Renee Spinella, charged in the federal wire-fraud case centered on Free Keene’s Ian Freeman, will not go to jail as part of her plea agreement. 

Spinella, 26, was sentenced to three years of supervised release on Thursday in United States District Court in Concord for her role in the money laundering and wire fraud scheme.

Spinella is one of six people charged in the alleged multi-million scheme, and currently one of three people to take plea deals. Her husband, Andrew Spinella, 36, pleaded guilty earlier this year and is awaiting sentencing. Free Keene activist Nobody, formerly Rich Paul, 55, was sentenced to two years of supervised release last month.

Of the remaining suspects, Collene Fordham 63, of Alstead, had the charges against her dropped. That leaves Freeman, 42, and Aria DiMezzo, 34, facing more than 30 indictments in the case. The pair are fighting the charges in court and seeking to have some charges dismissed.

Renee Spinella started living with Freeman when she was 16 after running away from her parents according to court records. She stayed with Freeman until she was 19, but remained within his orbit, according to court records. The pair even shared custody of a dog after their breakup. 

Renee Spinella is accused of opening bank accounts for Freeman to use for his various money laundering schemes, according to court reads. Most of this activity took place when she was between the ages of 21 and 24, according to court records.

Freeman and DiMezzo are accused of taking in millions of dollars through their Bitcoin exchanges and Bitcoin ATMs. The pair also used personal bank accounts and accounts for made-up churches like the Shire Free Church, the Crypto Church of New Hampshire, the Church of the Invisible Hand, and the Reformed Satanic Church, in order to conduct their bitcoin businesses. The pair allegedly lied to banks in opening their accounts and got others to open accounts on their behalf, according to court records. Part of the operation for Freeman was to help cyber criminals swindle money from lonely victims, according to the indictments.

Freeman reportedly has access to millions in cash and cryptocurrency, according to prosecutors.

Freeman is no stranger to local politics. He is currently running as a Republican in Senate District 10. DiMezzo made an unsuccessful campaign for Cheshire County sheriff in 2020 as the only Republican in the race.

Freeman, DiMezzo, and Nobody are all part of the Free Keene collective, an offshoot of the Free State Project. The Free State Project made a show of kicking Freeman out of the movement in 2014 after he repeatedly advocated for lowering the age of consent. The Free State Project is a Libertarian initiative to overtake the state’s government. Freeman is also an advocate of seceding from the United States.

In 2015, federal agents took Freeman’s computers, hard drive, and other devices as part of the child sex abuse image investigation that so far has not produced an indictment or charge, or apparently turned up any evidence. Freeman is currently suing the FBI to get his devices returned.

As part of her sentence, Renee Spinella was fined $2,000. According to court records, her actions were responsible for more than $78,000 in fraud.

Freeman Files for State Senate, Wants Ankle Monitor Removed

Ian Freeman, a libertarian activist currently facing dozens of federal felony charges related to his alleged Bitcoin money laundering, is now running for state Senate in New Hampshire.

The race for the District 10 Senate seat is wide open since incumbent Democrat Jay Kahn announced he is not seeking reelection. Freeman said he intends to serve his term in office even if he gets convicted in the money laundering case.

“I know one cannot run for office in New Hampshire when serving a felony sentence. But I don’t know what the law is regarding being convicted or sentenced while in office,” Freeman said. “Presuming it’s allowed, and they don’t remove me automatically, I would not step down, as having no senator in District 10 is preferable to one who votes against liberty as Jay Kahn often did.”

Cheshire County Republican Committee Chair Richard Merkt has not been in contact with Freeman but said the libertarian activist and former member of the Free State Project has every right to run for office.

“He’s a libertarian, but he’s registered as a Republican,” Merkt said.

There will be other Republicans who file for the seat in the coming days, according to Merkt, and Freeman is unlikely to have an open shot at the nomination.

“I want the GOP to provide a credible alternative to the Democrats,” Merkt said.

Freeman said given the current ballot access laws in New Hampshire, is it easier for him to run as a Republican than a libertarian.

“As you may know, New Hampshire’s ballot access laws make it difficult to run as a third party. Running as a libertarian would cost many hours of gathering 700 valid signatures – probably gotta shoot for 1,500 as they will try to disqualify them – whereas running for New Hampshire Senate as a major party is only $10,” Freeman said. “If the parties ever make ballot access equal for smaller parties, then perhaps fewer libertarians will run under the majors’ labels. I understand some in those parties are frustrated by the infiltration of libertarians, but they did it to themselves by keeping third parties off the ballot.”

Freeman’s run under the GOP banner is reminiscent of Aria DiMezzo’s campaign for Cheshire County Sheriff in 2020. Identifying as a trans and Satanic anarchist, DiMezzo was the only Republican in the race. DiMezzo lost the election and is currently one of Freeman’s co-defendants in the money laundering case.

“I can’t read their minds, I couldn’t tell you what their intentions are,” Merkt said.

Freeman is currently trying to get the federal court to remove the electronic ankle monitor he is required to wear pending trial. A hearing on that motion is set for later this month. The government is objecting to the removal, claiming Freeman has already violated his conditions of release.

According to the prosecution’s motion, Freeman used his girlfriend, Bonnie Kruse, to attempt to access more than $160,000 he has deposited in a Blockchain account. Freeman was ordered not to access any of his digital currency accounts as part of his conditions of release. He was also ordered not to have a third party access the money for him.

The government also suggested Freeman has been underreporting his holdings, and may have millions of dollars in currency, digital and otherwise, secreted away. Freeman has been ordered to not discuss his case. His attorney, Mark Sisti, declined to comment on the allegations.

“There’ll be plenty of comment when the time is right,” Sisti said.

Freeman and DiMezzo are facing dozens of criminal charges for allegedly taking in millions of dollars through their Bitcoin exchanges and Bitcoin ATMs. They also used personal bank accounts and accounts for alleged made-up churches like the Shire Free Church, the Crypto Church of NH, the Church of the Invisible Hand, and the Reformed Satanic Church, in order to conduct their bitcoin businesses, according to the charges. They allegedly lied to banks in opening their accounts and got others to open accounts on their behalf, according to court records. Part of the operation for Freeman was to help cyber criminals swindle money from lonely victims, according to the indictments.

Freeman and DiMezzo were arrested last year along with four other suspects, all of whom have pleaded guilty or had their charges dropped.

Renee Spinella, 25, her husband Andrew Spinella, 36, and Nobody, formerly known as Rich Paul, 54, all took plea deals that will bring them minimal prison time. Andrew Spinella, in fact, will not serve any time behind bars. Prosecutors also dropped the indictment against Colleen Fordham, 62.

Freeman, DiMezzo, and Nobody are all part of the Free Keene collective, an offshoot of the Free State Project. The Free State Project made a show of kicking Freeman out of the movement in 2014 after he repeatedly advocated for lowering the age of consent. The Free State Project is an initiative to concentrate libertarians in a small state and have an oversized effect on state governance. Freeman is also an advocate of seceding from the United States.

New Indictments for Last Two Suspects in Crypto 6 Case

Federal prosecutors unsealed a new 32-count superseding indictment Tuesday against Free Keene’s Ian Freeman and Aria DiMezzo, the last remaining suspects in the “Crypto 6” money laundering Bitcoin criminal case.

The new indictments alleged Freeman and DiMezzo engaged in money laundering, wire fraud, conspiracy, and tax evasion. Freeman and DiMezzo are the only conspirators named in these new indictments, bought a week after three of the so-called Crypto 6 entered into plea agreements.

Renee Spinella, 25, her husband Andrew Spinella, 36, and Nobody, formerly known as Rich Paul, 54, all took plea deals that will bring them minimal prison time, and no jail time for Andrew Spinella. Prosecutors also dropped the indictment against Colleen Fordham, 62, leaving Freeman, 42, and DiMezzo, 35, as the only remaining suspects.

Renee Spinella is Freeman’s ex-girlfriend, and Nobody is a long-time member of Freeman’s Keene libertarian activist group.

Freeman’s attorney, Mark Sisti, could not be reached Tuesday evening. Richard Guerriero, DiMezzo’s attorney, said Tuesday night his client maintains her innocence.

Aria DiMezzo

“Aria DiMezzo maintains her position that she did nothing wrong and should not be prosecuted. She looks forward to a trial before a jury of New Hampshire citizens,” Guerriero said.

Freeman was asked Tuesday night about his former friends and associates possibly testifying against him, but he said he does not think that will happen.

“I don’t know what, if any, evidence there is that people are talking to the Feds or planning to testify against me. I’ve heard the opposite,” Freeman said in an email.

According to former First Assistant U.S. Attorney for the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of New Hampshire David Vicinanzo, the superseding indictments likely mean people are talking and providing new evidence to prosecutors.

“It most likely reflects that the people who pleaded are cooperating, have been interviewed, and have been deemed credible. Not only do the prosecutors have the testimony of the new witnesses, but probably additional documentary or other corroborative evidence derived from the insider testimony,” Vicinanzo said. “So, it looks like the Feds are loading up on the remaining defendants or defendants. It’s a common pattern in the federal system. We did it many times when I was there.”

If Vicinanzo is correct, and people close to Freeman are now witnesses for the prosecution, Freeman said he is not upset with them.

“Even if my friends are talking, no I don’t feel betrayed. The Feds are very scary and threatened my co-defendants with more charges if they didn’t take a plea deal. This is the typical strategy of the Feds, and it nearly always succeeds. It does not mean those who’ve pled guilty actually did anything wrong or harmed anyone. It simply means they were under duress and afraid of the unknown,” Freeman said. “I don’t blame them for doing what they felt they needed to do. Whatever it is they might say would only be the truth, that we were not scamming anyone, and no one was harmed. My religion includes the practice of forgiveness.”

According to the indictments, Freeman and DiMezzo brought in millions of dollars through their Bitcoin exchanges and Bitcoin ATMs. They also used personal bank accounts and accounts for made-up churches like the Shire Free Church, the Crypto Church of New Hampshire, the Church of the Invisible Hand, and the Reformed Satanic Church in order to conduct their bitcoin businesses. The pair allegedly lied to banks in opening their accounts and got others like Nobody and the Spinella’s to open accounts on their behalf, according to court records.

Part of the operation for Freeman was to help cybercriminals swindle money from lonely victims, according to the indictments.

“As part of the unlawful scheme, the defendant Ian Freeman knowingly processed and profited from numerous virtual currency transactions conducted on behalf of individuals who were defrauded by illegal scams, most commonly so-called ‘romance scams.’ By knowingly permitting defrauded individuals to exchange fiat currency for virtual currency including Bitcoin, Freeman and others facilitated the transfer of illicit proceeds to the executors of the illegal scams, while generating revenue for the virtual currency exchange business.,” the new indictments state.

Freeman is a long-time libertarian activist who first moved to New Hampshire as part of the Free State Project. The official Free State Project distanced itself from Freemen in 2014 when he repeatedly used his radio show to call for lowering the age of consent. However, Freeman has taken part in Free State events since his 2014 ouster, such as the annual libertarian PorcFest.

The indictment states federal officials plan to seize all of Freeman’s Bitcoins, as well as $180,000 in cash and other currencies taken during the March 2021 raids at his home in Keene.

‘Nobody’ Joins the Crypto 6 Plea Bargain Parade

On the day the ex-girlfriend of Free Keene’s Ian Freeman pleaded guilty in the federal money laundering Bitcoin case, his libertarian comrade known as Nobody filed notice of his plans to enter a plea deal as well.

Freeman, 42, is at the center of the case targeting his Bitcoin exchanges and his several libertarian churches, which he used to receive “donations” as part of the multi-million dollar money-laundering scheme, according to the government.

Freeman was arrested last year along with Nobody, formerly known as Rich Paul, 54, Freeman’s ex-girlfriend Renee Spinella, 25, and her husband Andrew Spinella, 36. The Spinella’s entered into plea agreements this week, Andrew Spinella on Tuesday and Renee Spinella on Thursday. Both plea agreements center on their actions to open bank accounts in their own names, which Freeman then used as part of his scheme, according to court records.

While Andrew Spinella was able to bargain for no jail time in exchange for his guilty plea, Renee Spinella was not as fortunate in making a deal for her role in setting up the bank accounts for the Crypto Church of New Hampshire, one of Freeman’s many pseudo-religious entities.

According to court records, prosecutors agreed to drop many of the charges against Renee Spinella and seek the minimum prison time for one count of wire fraud. The maximum sentence is 30 years.

Nobody’s notice that he plans to plead guilty came as a surprise. He has been a fixture among the Keene libertarian groups, spearheading marijuana activism and running for mayor of Keene and governor of New Hampshire.

Nobody had previously done jail time for drug offenses in 2014 after refusing to become a federal informant against Freeman and his fellow libertarian activists. After his arrest last year, Nobody also adamantly stated that the police officers needed to be killed, and made other obscene and threatening statements to his former defense attorney, according to court records.

With the Spinellas and Nobody agreeing to take pleas, that leaves Freeman, Aria DiMezzo, who calls herself a trans satanic anarchist and who started a satanic temple that has been implicated in the scheme, and Colleen Fordham, a 62-year-old Alstead woman who operates the convenience store in Keene in a building Freeman owns.

Freeman is a longtime libertarian activist who first moved to New Hampshire as part of the Free State Project. That group distanced itself from Freemen in 2014 when he repeatedly used his radio show to call for lowering the age of consent. However, Freeman has taken part in Free State Project events, like the annual libertarian PorcFest, since his 2014 ouster.

The Free State Project is a libertarian movement that encourages people to move to New Hampshire and take over state government. Freeman was an early Free State pioneer and encouraged many people to move to New Hampshire.

According to prosecutors, since 2016 Freeman and the others have operated businesses and phony churches that allowed criminal customers to exchange over 10 million dollars in fiat currency for virtual currency, charging a fee for the service. Prosecutors have said Freeman knew he was laundering money from criminals.

Agents took dozens of guns and $180,000 in cash out of Freeman’s Keene home during the March 2021 raid when he and the others were arrested. He was estimated to have more than $1.6 million in cryptocurrency at his disposal that authorities know about, according to court records.

 

 

First of the Crypto 6 Suspects Takes Plea

CONCORD — Andrew Spinella is skipping prison as part of the plea agreement he entered in the Keene Crypto 6 money laundering case.

Spinella, 36, pleaded guilty to one count of wire fraud on Tuesday. Two other federal conspiracy charges are being dropped as part of the deal.

While the agreement does not explicitly require Spinella to testify against alleged ringleader Ian Freeman, the charge itself implicates Freeman in a scheme to defraud banks.

Spinella pleaded guilty to a wire fraud count stating he created bank accounts in his own name, and then gave control of these accounts over to Freeman in order to allow Freeman to use the accounts to sell Bitcoin. Assistant United States Attorney Georgiana MacDonald told Judge Joseph Laplante the government has text messages between Andrew Spinella and his wife, Renee Spinella, detailing the scheme.

MacDonald said Renee Spinella explained to her husband in the texts similar bank accounts she opened for Freeman had been closed because of banking laws.

Laplante asked Andrew Spinella point-blank if he was guilty during Tuesday’s hearing.

“I feel with everything going on, if I were to take it to trial, it would make it far worse,” he told the judge.

Laplante pressed Spinella on his guilt, saying he could not accept a guilty plea if Spinella did think he was guilty of the crime charged.

“I don’t mean guilty in some cosmic sense,” Laplante said.

Spinella continued that it would be worse for him if he took the case to trial and if he was tried with the five other defendants. Laplante again asked if he was guilty.

“There’s too much evidence that says that I am,” Spinella said.

Renee Spinella, 25, was also scheduled to enter into a plea agreement, but she did not appear in court Tuesday. She was reportedly feeling unwell and her hearing is now set for Thursday. Renee Spinella is also currently charged with conspiracy along with Freeman, her ex-boyfriend. Freeman, 42, Colleen Fordham, 62, of Alstead, Nobody (formerly Richard Paul), 54, of Keene, and Aria DiMezzo, 36, of Keene, are all charged with conspiracy to operate an unlicensed money transmitting business.

Observing Tuesday’s hearing were Freeman’s attorney, Mark Sisti, and DiMezzo’s attorney, Richard Guerriero.

Freeman is a long-time libertarian activist who first moved to New Hampshire as part of the Free State Project. That organization distanced itself from Freemen in 2014 when he repeatedly used his radio show to call for lowering the age of consent.

In 2015, federal agents raided Freeman’s Keene home and seized dozens of computers and other devices as part of an investigation into the alleged possession of child sex abuse images. No charges were ever brought in the case. Freeman filed a lawsuit against the FBI agent who obtained the search warrant last week.

Nobody (Richard Paul) did jail time for a drug conviction in 2014 and has run for both mayor of Keene and governor of New Hampshire. He was held the longest in jail after the money laundering arrest last year, due in part to his threats against law enforcement.

DiMezzo, who describes herself as a trans satanic anarchist, ran unsuccessfully for Cheshire County sheriff as a Republican in 2020.

Freeman and DiMezzo both started churches that the indictments claim they used as part of the $10 million money-laundering scheme. According to court records, since 2016, the defendants have operated a business that enabled criminal customers to exchange over $10 million in fiat currency for virtual currency, charging a fee for their service. They operated their virtual currency exchange business using websites, as well as operating virtual currency ATM machines in New Hampshire.

Prosecutors claim Freeman knew he was laundering ill-gotten money from criminals. The indictment alleges the defendants knowingly operated the virtual currency exchange business in violation of federal anti-money laundering laws and regulations. Additionally, the indictment alleges some defendants opened bank accounts, some in the names of purported religious entities, like DiMezzo’s Satanic Temple.

Agents took dozens of guns and close to $200,000 in cash out of Freeman’s Keene homes during the March 2021 raid when he and the others were arrested. He was estimated to have more than $1.6 million in cryptocurrency at his disposal that authorities know about, according to court records.