Pastor indicted for taking bribes from disgraced former Bitcoin exchange

reevon gross

A pastor who accepted bribes from the founders of disgraced Bitcoin exchange to allow them to take over his credit union has been indicted by Federal officials.

Trevon Gross, the pastor and former chairman of the Helping Other People Excel Federal Credit Union of Jackson, New Jersey, was charged with receiving payments to let operators of the illegal bitcoin exchange gain control of the credit union, according to Reuters.

Gross stands accused of accepting over $150,000 in bribes as the Chairman of the Board of the credit union that served primarily low-income local residents in New Jersey.

Those who bribed him included Anthony Murgio, who was arrested in July and later pleaded not-guilty to charges of running an unlicensed financial exchange and money laundering in November.

Murgio became involved with the credit union after his, and fellow accused Yuri Lebedev failed to deceive major financial institutions by pretending they were running the “Collectables Club,” a members-only association of individuals who discussed, bought, and sold collectible items.

The pair then obtained beneficial control of Helping Other People Excel Federal Credit Union, to which they then transferred’s banking operations; until now it wasn’t clear how they had done so, but as it turns out they bribed their way in.

Eventually, it was their greed which got the better of them, as a serious increase in funds flowing through the credit union came to the attention of the National Credit Union Administration, who then alerted authorities that something untoward was going on.


Another man involved in running the exchange (and believed to be the ultimate owner) Gery Shalon, along with another Israeli citizen, Ziv Orenstein, and an American, Joshua Samuel Aaron, also have links with hacking and were behind the criminal enterprise that stolen personal information of more than 100 million people from a range of large firms, including the infamous hack of JP Morgan.

Gross surrendered to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) on Thursday morning, an agency spokeswoman said, and is scheduled to be arraigned on Friday.

He is charged with one count of corruptly accepting payments as an officer of a financial institution, which carries a maximum sentence of 30 years in prison.

A trial to hear the case is currently scheduled October 31, 2016.

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