Five At Five: Bitcoin Trader Sentenced Following Federal Jury Conviction


Welcome to the Five at Five, your late look at the payments and commerce news of the day. Coverage includes a 41-month prison sentence for a bitcoin trader, Starbucks mulling a bitcoin project, Barclays investing in an alternative lender, Discover naming a new chief executive and proposed legislation to ban overdraft fees on ATM and debit transactions.

Bitcoin Trader Thomas Mario Costanzo Gets 41-Month Sentence In Prison

Costanzo, also known as Morpheus Titania, received the sentence from U.S. District Judge G. Murray Snow after being convicted in a federal jury trial. He will receive credit for time served since his April 2017 arrest. Costanzo was previously convicted of using cryptocurrency for money laundering, and the judge in today’s case ruled on the forfeiture of nearly 81 bitcoins he provided to an undercover agent in a money laundering transaction that was worth $107,000 at the time — now worth more than $600,000.

Starbucks May Help Consumers Pay With Bitcoin

The coffee chain is reportedly part of a project that could help cryptocurrency holders spend their coins. The project involves a group of companies working with the International Exchange’s planned digital asset company called Bakkt. The new entity will have “merchant and consumer applications” and bitcoin to flat currency conversions as an early use case.

Barclays Invests In Alternative Lender MarketInvoice

The financial institution became the first on High Street to enter into such a partnership with an alternative lender. Barclays is acquiring a minority stake in MarketInvoice, which will integrate its own invoice financing solutions with Barclays’ products.

Discover Names Current President To Become New CEO

The credit card company named Roger Hochschild, current president and COO, to succeed David Nelms as its new chief executive officer starting in October. Hochschild has been with the company since 2004 and will retain the title of president as well. Nelms has informed the board that he will retire in 2019, and after giving up the CEO position he will retain the title of executive chairman.

Booker Proposes Ban On Overdraft Fees For Debit Card And ATM Transactions

Senator Cory Booker (D-NJ) — a possible DNC candidate in the 2020 presidential race — has proposed banning banks from imposing fees on consumers who overdraw their accounts through debit card or ATM transactions. In addition, overdraft fees would be limited on check payments.


New PYMNTS Report: Preventing Financial Crimes Playbook – July 2020 

Call it the great tug-of-war. Fraudsters are teaming up to form elaborate rings that work in sync to launch account takeovers. Chris Tremont, EVP at Radius Bank, tells PYMNTS that financial institutions (FIs) can beat such highly organized fraudsters at their own game. In the July 2020 Preventing Financial Crimes Playbook, Tremont lays out how.