US Federal Agent Admits To Stealing $820,000 Bitcoins From Silk Road

Shaun Bridges, a former US DEA agent who was investigating the online drug marketplace Silk Road, has been charged with obstructing justice and money laundering. He has since admitted the charges that were levelled against him.

So, how did Mr Bridges nick quite so many Bitcoins with a huge resale figure? According to the US Department of Justice (DoJ), Bridges was granted as part of the investigation to the rights to an administrator account on the notorious deep web black marketplace Silk Road. He misused his account by resetting the passwords and pocketing around 20,000 in Bitcoins from numerous wallets on the service, he then transferred the digital currency into his own wallet. Having quite a lot of Bitcoins in a virtual wallet is fun and all, but, Mr Bridges envisaged a big financial reward and subsequently sold off the stolen Bitcoins on the Mt Gox exchange between March to May 2013, which netted him a combined figure of $820,000 in cash.

When the net closes tightly around you, Shaun Bridges decided to admit all as part of a plea deal, he also admitted that during the investigation of Silk Road he had lied to investigators and also tried to obstruct them in their duties.

This is why government law enforcement is unable to take the moral high ground in cases like this. Yes, what Ross Ulbricht and co operated was illegal, but the actions of the former agent in question weren’t exactly saint like either. It’s difficult to convey the evils of this type of behaviour to would-be cyber criminals when the supposed “good side” have also been charged with theft.

A perfect summary of this case arrives courtesy of US Attorney Melinda Haag who Stated the following

“Mr. Bridges has now admitted that he brazenly stole $820,000 worth of digital currency while working as a U.S. Secret Service special agent, a move that completely violated the public’s trust. We depend on those in federal law enforcement having the highest integrity and unshakable honour, and Mr. Bridges has demonstrated that he utterly lacks those qualities.”   

A part of preventing crime is trust in those who defend the law-abiding, if trust is disappearing after scandal upon scandal, it’s difficult to regain it.

Thank you techworm for providing us with this information.

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Federal Agents Charged with Stealing from Silk Road

Two Federal agents are now facing charges themselves after the takedown of the Silk Road drug marketplace last year. The two agents, Carl Mark Force and Shaun Bridges, were both involved in the takedown by operating undercover and building up evidence against the Silk Road operators.

According to an affidavit, Force redirected Bitcoins to a personal account during the investigation but failed to report this or turn them over once the investigation was completed. The idea of a couple extra bucks in his pocket could now result in years in prison instead as he faces charges of money laundering, wire fraud and theft of government property. The other agent, Bridges, only faces laundering and fraud charges. Naughty agents.

Thanks to The Verge for providing us with this information

Silk Road Pirate Accuses Government Of Stealing His Bitcoin Booty

Silk Road Mastermind Ross Ulbricht

Ross Ulbricht or better known by his silk road alias of “Dread Pirate Roberts” has accused the government of being the real pirates, by for the first time admitting the government took his 173,000 or so of his encrypted virtual currency. When he was first arrested in October for allegedly masterminding and running the illegal website known as Silk Road, he claimed that the “feds arrested the wrong guy’. Now Ross Ulbricht has filed legal papers in a Manhattan Federal Court claiming he has an interest as the owner of the 173,000 or so Bitcoins, which are worth around $33.6 million.

In a statement made by Ulbricht in December he claims that the virtual currency should be returned to him because Bitcoins are not subject to seizure by federal law. However Attorney Jeffery Alberts, who used to work and specialize in asset-forfeiture actions says that Ulbricht will have a difficult time proving his argument because usually anything of value can be seized in money laundering cases. With the Bitcoins in question being taken by the government as assets they will allege were used to facilitate money laundering in support of a host of crimes. These include six failed assassinations, the sale of cocaine, heroin and other illicit drugs over the internet through the Silk Road website. With the virtual currency of Bitcoins only getting bigger this case will likely set a president for cases later on involving all types of virtual currency in regards to illicit activities and the profits from those activities.

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