• damientfisher

The alleged ringleader of a multi-million dollar bitcoin money laundering scheme, Ian Freeman, is getting out of jail after Federal Judge Joseph LaPlante granted him released on conditions.

Freeman, 40, is charged with several federal felonies along with other members of his liberation activist circle based in Keene. He had been held without bail after prosecutors in the case called him a danger to the community and a flight risk.

LaPlante agreed to release Freeman this week on condition that he post a $200,000 bond, and that he stay off social media, among other conditions. Freeman's computers and internet use will be monitored during his pre-trial release. He’s also to refrain from drugs and alcohol, and not possess any firearms.


Freeman, Colleen Fordham, 60, of Alstead, Renee Spinella, 23, of Derry, Andrew Spinella, 35, of Derry, Nobody, 52, formerly Rich Paul, of Keene, and Aria DiMezzo, 34, of Keene were all taken into custody during March raids on Freeman’s businesses in Keene and other locations. Only Nobody remains in custody, as he has waived his right to a bench trial.

Part of the alleged scheme had Freeman taking money from the victims of scams, which he converted into bitcoin for the perpetrators to take, according to prosecutors. Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies and difficult for law enforcement to trace.

Freeman was known to charge a higher transaction fee than other, legitimate bitcoin sellers, and he did not keep proper records that would allow federal agents and banks to identify his customers, according to prosecutors.

He allegedly hid his transactions as donations through his various churches, and had contracts with other people to operate churches and church bank accounts on his behalf, in order to get around bank security, according to prosecutors. Freeman had denied wrong doing in the case.

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The Bedford youth soccer coach who is accused of making secret video recordings of the foreign exchange student living in his house is scheduled to agree to a 15 year prison sentence as part of a plea agreement.

Matthew Dion, 48, was arrested last year after the foreign exchange student reported to police that he found a camera inside a pen hidden in the bathroom he used, according to court records. Dion faced up to 30 years in prison on one federal count of producing child pornography for allegedly filming the student.

The student, who was under the age of 16, told police he started to notice the pen in the bathroom he used in the Dion home. The pen was never in the same place whenever he went into the bathroom, and the student would later tell police that Dion always went into the bathroom right after he used it to shower, according to court records.

The student noticed the pen in the trashcan in the bathroom, pointed toward the toilet, and he picked it up and discovered that it was in fact a camera with a USB connection outlet. The student left the bathroom and called his family, who advised him to go to police, according to court records. They also told him to get the pen. The student went back to the bathroom but the pen was gone, according to court records.


Police executed a search warrant at Dion’s home a couple of days later and found a microSD memory card under the seat of Dion’s car. Forensic investigators found nude images of the student on the card. There was also evidence someone tried to erase the data on the card, according to court records.

Dion is scheduled to enter the plea on Tuesday in the United States District Court in Concord. As part of the plea agreement, Dion will pay the student $30,000 in restitution.

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  • damientfisher

Federal Judge Joseph Laplante said Monday he is likely to release jail Free Keene leader Ian Freeman, as long as the accused money launderer puts up a hefty security among other provisions.

“Give the COVID condition, I’m not convinced detention is the right answer,” Laplante said.

Freeman has been held since his March arrest in Keene when federal agents raided his home and businesses associated with his bitcoin businesses, charging five other people of being part of a multi-millions money laundering scheme.

Last month, Judge Andrea Johnstone ruled that Freeman was a potential flight risk given the substantial amounts of money he has in cash and bitcoin, more than $1.6 million according to court records. She also ruled he presented a danger to the community as he continued to engage in scam transactions up to his arrest, according to court records.

Freeman appealed Johnstone’s ruling, and while Laplante said his fellow judge was correct, he 4th there are conditions that can be set to allow Freeman out of jail. Laplante wants a large amount of money or property put up as a security, he wants Freeman to surrender his passport and not leave the state, he is open to some form of electronic monitoring, and he wants to have no contact lists for Freeman. The prosecution and defense have until Thursday to submit their proposals for Freeman’s potential release.

Freeman, 40, Colleen Fordham, 60, of Alstead, Renee Spinella, 23, of Derry, Andrew Spinella, 35, of Derry, Nobody, 52, formerly Rich Paul, of Keene, and Aria DiMezzo, 34, of Keene were all taken into custody during the March raids. Only Freeman and Nobody remain in custody, Nobody has waived his right to a bench trial.

Assistant United States Attorney Georgina MacDonald said the government has identified 50 to 100 victims of Freeman’s scheme, and there are likely hundreds more. Part of the scheme had Freeman taking money from the victims of scams, and then then he converted the cash into bitcoin that the scammers took, according to MacDonald. One 80 year-old woman sent Freeman thousands of dollars the week he was arrested on instruction from the man scamming her through a romance scam, according to MacDonald.

Freeman was known to charge a higher transaction fee than other, legitimate bitcoin sellers, and he did not keep proper records that would allow federal agents and banks to identify his customers, according to MacDonald. He allegedly hid his transactions as donations through his various churches, and had contracts with other people to operate churches and church bank accounts on his behalf, in order to get around bank security, MacDonald said.

Freeman’s attorney, Mark Sisti, said his client followed all of the laws when it comes to selling bitcoin. Sisti pointed out an email exchange between his client and a reported drug dealer in which Freeman refused to sell the drug dealer bitcoin. Sisti said Freeman refused a $20,000 transaction once he knew about the criminal enterprise.

MacDonald noted that Freeman told the drug dealer via text and email that he could not knowingly sell the man bitcoin, typing the word knowingly in all caps. When the drug dealer asked if he could use one of Freeman’s bitcoin vending machines, like the one at Murphy’s Taproom, Freeman was coy, according to MacDonald.

“I can’t tell you not to do that,” Freeman wrote to the drug dealer.

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