US government agents Tuesday arrested Charlie Shrem, CEO of the Bitcoin Exchange BitInstant, at Kennedy airport charging him with laundering money for customers of the online drug bazaar Silk Road. The US attorney in the southern District of New York said Shrem had helped Robert Faiella sell more than $1 million worth of bitcoins to Silk Road customers. He was arrested at his home in Cape Coral, FL, for allegedly running an underground bitcoin exchange. The two were charged with conspiracy to launder money and operate an unlicensed money transmitting business.
This is the first time the US government has struck out against the virtual currency catching on in recent months and drawing in hundreds of thousands of investors in America and other parts of the world .