NEWARK, N.J. – A businessman and former resident of Utah has been charged with illegally operating an unlicensed money transmitting business, U.S. Attorney Philip R. Sellinger announced today.
Christopher James Scanlon, 43, originally from Utah and now residing in the United Kingdom, is charged by complaint with one count of conspiring to control and own an unlicensed money transmitting business. Scanlon was arrested at Miami International Airport today and is expected to have his initial appearance in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida on Friday.
According to documents filed in this case and statements made in court:
Scanlon was the president, chief executive officer, and founder of the brands Aurae Lifestyle and Club Swann. From as early as 2015 through 2019, Scanlon controlled a series of legal entities – PMA Media Group Inc.; AU Card LLC; AU Card Ltd., and Nvayo Ltd., (collectively, the “AU Entities”) – that he operated as a money transmitting business to provide fiat and cryptocurrency financial services to customers of Aurae Lifestyle. Scanlon served as a customer service representative for several high-net-worth Aurae Lifestyle customers. He often communicated with customers about financial transactions using encrypted messaging applications and directed the AU Entities to conduct financial transactions for customers through U.S.-based banks and cryptocurrency companies. Scanlon operated Aurae Lifestyle during this time without appropriately registering as a money transmitting business with the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCen), a bureau of the U.S. Treasury Department.
The conspiracy count carries a maximum term of imprisonment of five years, a fine of up to $250,000 or twice the pecuniary gain to the defendant or loss to the victims, whichever is greatest.
U.S. Attorney Sellinger credited special agents of IRS – Criminal Investigation, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Tammy Tomlins, and special agents of the U.S. Attorney’s office, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Thomas Mahoney, with the investigation leading to the charges.
The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Jamie Hoxie Solano and Sophie E. Reiter of the Cybercrime Unit in Newark.
The charge and allegations contained in the complaint are merely accusations, and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.