Alleged founder and manager of the Bitcoin based black-market website Silk Road, Ross Ulbricht, reportedly pleaded not guilty to all charges raised against him by the US government. The charges against Mr Ulbricht are incredibly serious including trafficking in narcotics, computer hacking, money laundering and engaging in continuing criminal enterprise. The “continuing criminal enterprise” charge is often reserved for the largest Mafia/Cartel-like bosses.
Previous speculation had suggested that Ross Ulbricht would cooperate with his prosecutors for a more lenient sentence by facilitating the arrest and prosecution of other figures in the “dark web” drug industry he was apparently a key figure in. This speculation was based on the recent arrest of three more alleged Silk Road employees in December and the arrest of Bitcoin foundation Vice Chairman Charlie Shrem last month, who was charged with money laundering related to Silk Road.
Mr Ulbricht’s trial isn’t due to take place until November 2014 and in the mean time the defence and prosecution will be able to review are prepare their evidence for the expected 4 to 6 week trial. Ross Ulbricht’s defence is expected to attack the enforcement methods used by the prosecution citing illegal or improper surveillance techniques.
More details can be found here.
Image courtesy of Ross Ulbricht (Google +)