Frenchman Sentenced to Jail and Fined $3.7 Million for Illegal Use of Cryptocurrency in Morocco

  • He will also pay a $3.7 million fine
  • Laws prohibit all crypto-payments in Morocco

The Casablanca court sentenced Frenchman Thomas Clausi to 18 months in jail. Such a severe punishment was assessed by the justice for the illegal use of cryptocurrency.

The defendant will also pay a $3.7 million fine. However, Clausi has one other offense, so the sentence also takes that into account.

So the case has been pending since December 2021, so the defendant has almost served his time. He has just over a month left to serve.

The essence of the case

The first “crime” Clausi committed was a BTC payment. He sent the coins to a French woman living in Casablanca. It was a payment for the purchase of a Ferrari car worth 400,000 euros.

Another man accused Clausi of cheating the guy on the deal. The Frenchman wanted to buy three pairs of luxury watches, and in return he gave him a check.

But the payment was not processed due to insufficient funds in the account.

The court ordered Clausi to pay 40,000 dirhams ($4,000) compensation to the watch owner, as well as pay a fine of $3.4 million to customs authorities.

The young crypto start-up

Thomas Clausi settled in Morocco to work on a neobanking project in Africa.

Despite the fact that cryptocurrency trading is banned in the country, Morocco is the fastest-growing blockchain market in the region.

The share of ownership of crypto-assets is steadily increasing here.

In December, Morocco’s central bank, Bank Al-Maghrib (BAM), said it was working to introduce a bill to regulate the digital asset market.