Former Fed Agent Admitted Charges Against Him

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cThe former head of a law enforcement agency charged with investigating the Silk Road operations in Baltimore has pleaded guilty to charges of money laundering, extortion and impediment of justice. Speaking before US District Judge Richard Seeborg, Carl Mark Force who was dressed in an orange cell jumpsuit shocked the court by admitting that he stole bitcoins worth over $700,000 from the Silk Road site.

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Prosecutors described the details of his charges in a packed courtroom, stating that he was seduced by the alleged anonymity of dark web’s virtual currency system thinking authorities would never catch up with him. Force used fake Silk Road accounts and encrypted messages to illegally obtain his loot.

Taking the pseudonym of “Nob”, a state-sanctioned account by which he interacted with Ross Ulbricht through his “Dread Pirate Roberts” persona, Force took direct payments from the Silk Road kingpin and did not tell his superiors about it. But instead diverted the sums to his own personal accounts.

BitcoinsHe also started a second unsolicited account “French Maid”, where he amassed approximately $100,000 in bitcoins by providing “counter-intelligence” to law enforcement agencies. His own greed and an attempt to extort more cash by using a third anonymous account “Death From Above”, eventually lead to his arrest.

Government authorities also charged Force with having multiple conflicts of interest, particularly a 20th Century Fox movie contract where he was supposed to be paid $240,000 for telling his story for recording. It’s not yet clear how much money he received from this deal; the contract was signed without telling his DEA superiors about it.

Another conflict involved a firm known as CoinMKT, which he actively worked for and had investments in as well. He took advantage of his position as a DEA agent to help them run criminal background checks. At one point, Force confiscated around $370,000 from a certain CoinMKT user, claiming he was receiving it on behalf of DEA, but only added $37,000 to the government account and kept the rest for himself.

His final sentencing will be given in October 2015; the maximum prison sentence he can get for Silk Road money-laundering alone is 20yrs. Not mentioning other charges which also carry their own specific jail terms. According to his attorney, Ivan Bridges, Mr. Force has accepted responsibility and agreed to pay a total sum of $500,000 as restitution for the crimes committed. About $150,000 of it has already been paid.

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