Ex-Silk Road DEA Agent Sentenced To Over Six Years

ANNOUNCEMENT: Since the Silk Road 2.0 bust by the feds a few other Darknet Markets have fallen. Silk Road 3 is up and running with a big selection of goods.

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Carl Force IVA former DEA agent Carl Force IV has been sentenced to six and a half years on October 19th for his role in illegal financial transactions, extortion and impediment of justice while investigating the Silk Road case. Carl went rogue in the midst of US government’s inquiry on the darkweb drug bazaar. Prosecutors had requested the federal court to give him a jail term of approximately 7 yrs. and 3 months, including another 3 yrs. of supervised parole after serving his prison time. He had earlier pled guilty to the charges in July.

According to recorded court documents, the defense team had planned to ask for a ruling beneath the set statutory guidelines. On grounds that Force suffered from psychological health problems during the time he committed these crimes, a basis which the government side already disputed in its filings.

Earlier, the defense had presented a motion to have Carl’s sentence minimized under seal on 9th October, this is the same day that government filed a sentencing memorandum against him. Acting U.S. Attorney Brian Stretch had submitted in the state’s filing that Force abused public trust and blotted the reputation of federal law enforcement with his unprofessional Silk Road investigations. And that he doesn’t deserve any leniency.

Later on he also wrote that Carl’s actions had damaged the law enforcement’s reputation. According to Stretch, by giving the defendant a gun and badge, government expected him to act with manners consistent to the standards of a sworn-in law enforcement agent, namely protecting and serving the public. However, he breached this privilege and undermined the government’s credibility through his Silk Road involvement.

Brian’s affidavit had further goes on to mention how the presiding court must act decisively, so that other participants in corruption can learn a lesson from it. Prosecutors had expected this Silk Road ruling to send a message that such conduct would not be tolerated, but rather met with harsh penalty in form of long prison sentencing.

Acting U.S Attorney also wrote that other government employees will see what sentence Force receives, and this will be an example to them of what can happen if they betray public trust. Carl Force IV thought he could get away with his Silk Road crimes given that bitcoin is decentralized virtual money.

Unlike other traditional currencies like the American dollar, bitcoins are distributed and managed without a central governing authority. There is no state organ, company, or bank in-charge of administration, control and operation. Hence, making it less traceable in case someone decides to swindle them unlawfully, as was the case with Carl.

Force created several fictitious personas by which he extorted targets of his own unlawful investigations, offering in turn not to provide the state with these targets’ identity and actively serving on their payroll. Carl consequently conned not just the Silk Road operatives, but also the US government.

 Bitcoin

Furthermore, he stole and converted bitcoins worth hundreds of thousands in dollars which he attained in his official employed capacity, but then deposited them into his private bank accounts. He also run illegal criminal checks on certain individuals to benefit a 3rd party company, pretending to be this company’s Chief Compliance Officer while still employed as a fed.

Force forged and presented an official Department of Justice subpoena, all on behalf of a fraudulent firm and then directed it to make payments to his own individual account. He attempted to block evidence of his misdemeanor by threatening the concerned company with legal suit, and then directed another cop to seize its banking details. Later on, the accused covered his tracks by putting evidence of his Silk Road offenses in a burn bag, then lying about the foregoing conduct to state prosecutors and agents.

Prosecutors argued that his crimes don’t represent a “one-off” thing, where he had a brief lapse in judgment. But rather committed these crimes over a course of several months knowingly, during which period he had enough time to ponder and reflect on his actions but chose not to. Force continued practicing impunity till he was finally caught by officials. His was a well-calculated crime syndicate intended to avoid detection.

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USMS Has Announced The Final Silk Road Bitcoin Auction

ANNOUNCEMENT: Since the Silk Road 2.0 bust by the feds a few other Darknet Markets have fallen. Silk Road 3 is up and running with a big selection of goods.

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The U.S. government has declared that it will be auctioning off the remaining set of bitcoins that were confiscated from the Silk Road founder Ross Ulbricht. This auction will be the fourth and final one since a large stash of bitcoin was confiscated from Ulbricht in 2013.

Details of the bitcoin auction

The U.S. Marshals Service (USMS) will be auctioning off these bitcoins on Nov. 5, 2015. The auction will be held during a six hour period from 8 am to 2 pm EST. The total number of btc available in this auction will be approximately 44,341.

According to the USMS press release, the bitcoins will be auctioned off in 22 blocks, where 21 blocks will be of 2,000 BTC, while 1 block will be of approximately 2,341 BTC. All the winning bidders will be notified on Nov. 6, 2015.

Only cash offers will be accepted for this auction, which means any other type of payment such as bank transfer, credit card, etc. will be rejected. As always, all the bids will be accepted only from the pre-registered bidders.

How to register for the auction?

The registration period for the auction starts from Oct. 19, 2015 and will end on the noon of Nov. 2, 2015. Therefore, all the potential bidders must complete their registration requirements by that time.

All the documents that were submitted for registration of previous bitcoin auctions held by the USMS will not be considered valid for this auction, which means interested bidders will have to submit new registration documents if they wish to be considered for this auction.

United States Marshal (USMS)
Unfortunately, foreign investors are not allowed to directly register for this auction, as this auction is only open for the citizens of the United States. Therefore, any foreign investor will have to register through somebody who is working for them in the United States.

Furthermore, all the bidders will have to deposit an amount of $100,000 before the start of the auction. This step has been taken by the USMS to weed out any non-serious bidders. All the applicants who want to register for this auction will have to submit a photo ID issued by the U.S. government among other things.

Details of the previous auctions

Although the crackdown against the Silk Road was part of a joint operation between the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the U.S. Secret Service, it was the U.S. Marshals Service that was given the charge of handling the seized goods from the Silk Road, which was mostly bitcoins. A total of approximately 174,000 BTC were confiscated at the time of seizure.

So far, the USMS has held a total of three auctions where most of the bitcoins seized from the Silk Road have been sold to the qualified members of the US public. The first auction of 30,000 BTC was held in June 2014, which attracted 45 bidders who made 63 bids. The Draper University founder and billionaire venture capitalist Tim Draper won this auction by shelling out an estimated $18 million at that time.

The second auction had 50,000 BTC on sale but it recorded a way lower turnout when compared to the first auction. It had only 11 bidders who made 27 bids. Most experts believed that the lower turnout was due to the declining value of bitcoin at that time. Incidentally, price of bitcoin was experiencing huge volatility in those days and was hovering between $360 and $370. Bitcoins in this auction were partially won by Tim Draper, alongside Second Market founder Barry Silbert.

The third auction was held in March 2015, in which another 50,000 BTC, worth $13.4 million, were sold to the highest bidder. Although there were 14 bidders who competed for the bitcoins in the third auction, almost 47,000 or 94% of the bitcoins were bought by the Cumberland Mining, a secretive bitcoin company.

Bitcoin
Therefore, the coming auction to be held on Nov. 5, 2015 will be the fourth and final auction of the bitcoins seized from the Silk Road creator Ross Ulbricht. Authorities are hoping that a higher number of bidders will turnout for this auction as these are the last of the famous Silk Road bitcoins. This final auction will sell approximately 44,341 BTC worth more than $10 million based on present exchange rates.

History of the btc being sold in this auction

In Oct. 2013, the Silk Road mastermind Ross William Ulbricht was arrested by the U.S. authorities. A total of 144,000 BTC were seized from Ross Ulbricht’s laptop. Additionally, 29,655 BTC were held in wallets on the Silk Road at the time it was closed. This brought the total amount of bitcoins seized during the shutdown of the Silk Road to approximately 174,000 BTC.

On Jan. 27, 2015, the U.S. government and Ross Ulbricht agreed to the sale of the confiscated bitcoins during the trial. According to this agreement, Ross Ulbricht allowed the United States to sell any portion or all of the confiscated bitcoins. The manner of the sale of bitcoins was also left to be determined by the U.S. government.

Conviction and sentencing of Ross Ulbricht

Silk Road was the most famous online marketplace to buy and sell illegal narcotics and other banned products. After being arrested for operating Silk Road, Ross Ulbricht was charged with conspiracy to traffic narcotics, computer hacking, money laundering and attempting to kill six people. Although murder charges were later dropped from the indictment, Ross was convicted for all the other charges in connection with his ownership and operation of Silk Road on Feb. 2015.

Ulbricht was sentenced to life imprisonment of twenty years without the possibility of parole on May 29, 2015. He is imprisoned in the Metropolitan Detention Center, Brooklyn. He has also been ordered to a civil asset forfeiture of more than $183 million.

Conclusion

At the time of Ross Ulbricht’s arrest, the total bitcoins seized from him by the USMS was the largest single seizure of bitcoin ever. Although since the busting of the Silk Road several other darknet markets have fallen, the bitcoins seized from Ulbricht still remains with the USMS. However, this will come to an end on Nov. 5, 2015 when last batch of the famous Silk Road btc will be auctioned off to their highest bidders.

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Last Silk Road Bitcoin Auction Expected To Be Held Before The Year Ends

ANNOUNCEMENT: Since the Silk Road 2.0 bust by the feds a few other Darknet Markets have fallen. Silk Road 3 is up and running with a big selection of goods.

>> Click here to find the Silk Road 3 Guide <<

The US Marshals Service (USMS) has revealed it’s likely to auction off the remaining bitcoins that were confiscated from convicted Silkroad mastermind Ross Ulbricht sometime in 2015. This will be the USMS’s fourth bitcoin auction since a large stash of bitcoin was confiscated from Silkroad creator’s computer and the Silkroad servers in October 2013. A total of 44,336 BTC will be offered to prospective investors during the event. Unfortunately for some, the auction is only open to United States citizens, so foreign investors will not be able to make a move on the auction unless they have somebody working for them in the U.S. The USMS hasn’t yet set the specific dates of the auction, but the U.S. department is sure to hold it before the end of 2015.

Bitcoin Auction Participants
The crackdown on the Silkroad was achieved as part of a joint operation between the U.S. Secret Service and the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation. U.S. Marshals Service has been in charge of the seized goods from Silkroad (mostly bitcoins) since then. In total, approximately 174,000 BTC were confiscated which included 144,000 bitcoins from Ross Ulbricht along with 29,655 bitcoins held in wallets on the Silkroad at the time of its shutdown.

The U.S government and Ross Ulbricht agreed to the sale of the bitcoins on January 27, 2015, during the Silkroad trial in New York City. On May 29 2015, Ross Ulbricht was sentenced to 2 life sentences plus other terms of five years, fifteen years and twenty years to be served concurrently and with no chance for parole, for his role in the Silkroad black market which only accepted payment in bitcoin. Ross was also ordered to pay $183,961,921 in civil asset forfeiture.

Bitcoins
Most of these bitcoins were sold through a series of auctions held by the U.S. Marshals Service and the remaining 44,336 BTC will be cleared in the upcoming auction. During the first auction of the bitcoins seized from Silkroad attracted 45 bidders who made 63 bids, and the second auction only drew 11 bidders who made 27 bids. The third auction was held in March 2015, where 50,000 BTC were sold to bidders. 94% of the bitcoins from the third auction were bought by a secretive bitcoin company known as Cumberland Mining.

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Former Silk Road Agent Admitted To Stealing $820,000 In Bitcoins

ANNOUNCEMENT: Since the Silk Road 2.0 bust by the feds a few other Darknet Markets have fallen. Silk Road 3 is up and running with a big selection of goods.

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More skeletons are tumbling out of the cupboard as the investigation into Silkroad case advances. A former Silkroad agent has confessed to stealing of $820,000 equivalent of bitcoins during the course of investigating the online darknet contraband marketplace Silkroad. Shaun W. Bridges, a 33-year-old, who was working with the Baltimore Silkroad Task Force, pleaded guilty of money laundering and stealing, according to the US Department of Justice.

Silk Road Marketplace

Bitcoin is an electronic currency that came into existence in 2008 and was subsequently used for many transactions by illegal sites such as Silkroad for selling contraband goods on the darknet. In spite of the fact that it was used by a few legitimate businesses as well, it was not formally recognized by any government as standard currency.

The Shaun Bridges Case

Hailing from Laurel Maryland, Shaun Bridges served the US Secret Service for about six years before being assigned to the Electronic Crimes Task Force. Between the years 2012 and 2014, The Silkroad Task Force that he was assigned to conduct forensic computer investigations towards tracing out and implicating perpetrators of the illegal transactions of Silkroad, including those of its founder Ross Ulbricht (also known as Dread Pirate Roberts).

Shaun Bridges allegedly used a Silkroad administrator account to siphon off 20,000 bitcoins into his personal account in January 2013. This was made possible through a series of complex transactions, including obtaining fraudulent access to the website, resetting passwords of different accounts and moving the bitcoins to a personal wallet account. Their value was then equivalent to about $350,000. He then transferred the bitcoins to an account run by a Japanese bitcoin exchange. However, this exchange was shut down in the year 2014 after millions of bitcoins in the exchange purportedly disappeared.

Bridges had also cashed out the stolen bitcoins out of Mt. Gox (the Japanese exchange) before it closed down and by then the bitcoin value had increased to $820,000. He had diverted the money from Silkroad into his personal investment accounts, prosecutors alleged.

In addition to these charges, Bridges confessed that he impeded the investigations of the officers in many ways, including making false and misleading statements and also encouraged another government employee to lie to the investigators.

This confession has come in following the earlier one in July last when Carl Force admitted to stealing $700,000 worth of bitcoins when he was part of the team that investigated Ross Ulbricht, the owner of the darknet website Silkroad.

Bitcoins

The wrongful acts of the investigating officers are a clear case of betrayal of the trust which the public had placed on officers of the law, the Attorney General Caldwell opined in a release. The investigating attorney Haag also lauded the work of the federal officers who brought Shaun Bridges to book.

However, more than the fact that the department was quick to trace out the flow of funds from the accounts of the officers that were implicated, questions are being raised about the corruption involved in investigating the Silkroad case.

According to investigators, the confession of Shaun Bridges has added a new twist to the Silkroad investigation and would play a part in the appeal of Ulbricht who is currently serving 2 life sentences that are running parallel and is sentenced to 40 years in prison.

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Forfeiture Order Against Silk Road DEA Agent

ANNOUNCEMENT: Since the Silk Road 2.0 bust by the feds a few other Darknet Markets have fallen. The best Darknet Market available is the Agora Marketplace. It has the best reputation and a bigger selection of goods than Silk Road 2.0.

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Gavel HammerCarl Mark Force IV, former DEA agent, has been ordered to return the stolen bitcoins by a U.S. district judge. A preliminary order to this effect has been signed by Judge Richard Seeborg, U.S. District Court, Northern District of California, against Force who was a member of the task force team that investigated Silk Road, the infamous online drug black market founded by Ross Ulbricht. Force, who was arrested in the spring, pleaded guilty earlier this month to charges including money laundering, extortion and obstruction of justice. He would be sentenced in October this year.

The preliminary order signed by the judge mandates that Force must forfeit as much as 690 Bitcoins and other assets as listed below:

• $13,045 held by him in a BTC-e account in Bitcoins

• $109,741 held by him in a number of other private trading accounts

• $158,865 in lieu of his home in Baltimore

In addition, Seeborg approved a money judgment for $500,000 against Force.

Force and the Secret Service agent Shaun Bridges who investigated Silk Road between 2012 and 2014 were accused of selling information related to the investigation for financial gain. Subsequently, Force admitted that he sold information to Ross Ulbricht, the mastermind behind Silk Road, who was served with life imprisonment in May.

According to reports, Force, who had been a DEA agent for 15 years, offered to sell fake driving licenses and even devised plans to extort more money from the Silk Road founder by trading information under different identities. The former DEA agent also signed a movie deal worth $240,000 with 20th Century Fox without obtaining any approval from the department. The deal was for consultations on a film based on Silk Road story.

The announcement about the preliminary order against Force came in after the Secret Service agent Shaun Bridges, who was charged with stealing thousands of dollars in bitcoins during the investigation, and the federal prosecutors agreed on a plea deal.

In June, Bridges pleaded guilty to money laundering and obstruction of justice charges related to diverting more than $820,000 of bitcoins when investigating the Silk Road case. The theft led to Ulbricht hiring a hit on a fellow administrator at Silk Road who he thought was responsible for stealing the money. The former Secret Service agent will be sentenced in September.

Bridges and Force are not the first ones to be involved in corruption related to the War on Drugs. DEA agents raided Joseph Rivers’ life savings earlier this year. Rivers, an aspiring businessman and music executive in Detroit, took $16,000 in cash, the seed money required for starting a music company, and boarded a train. DEA agents stopped him at Amtrak station, Albuquerque, and searched his belongings. They could not find any evidence of drug on him, but they seized his cash and did not charge him with any crime.

DEA with BitcoinsIt is the perceived feeling of anonymity offered by the virtual currency that obviously encouraged Force to invent online personas and send encrypted messages to fraudulently obtain thousands of dollars worth bitcoins not only from the person being investigated, but also the government. However, Leslie Caldwell, Assistant Attorney General, clarified in a statement regarding Bridges and Force that the Department of Justice would not tolerate corruption, online or otherwise, committed by law enforcement officers.

As such, the guilty plea by Force should send the message across that neither the use of virtual currency, the dark web’s anonymity nor the misuse of the law enforcement badge can shield anyone from the law.

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Former Fed Agent Admitted Charges Against Him

ANNOUNCEMENT: Since the Silk Road 2.0 bust by the feds a few other Darknet Markets have fallen. The best Darknet Market available is the Agora Marketplace. It has the best reputation and a bigger selection of goods than Silk Road 2.0.

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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.

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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Accused Silk Road DEA Agent Takes A Plea Deal

ANNOUNCEMENT: Since the Silk Road 2.0 bust by the feds a few other Darknet Markets have fallen. The best Darknet Market available is the Agora Marketplace. It has the best reputation and a bigger selection of goods than Silk Road 2.0.

>> Click here to find the best alternative: Agora Marketplace <<

DEAAccording to court papers filed last week, the DEA agent who has been accused of extorting hundreds of thousands of dollars in bitcoins from Ross Ulbricht, founder of the drug trafficking website Silk Road, will plead guilty in the court. Carl Force, the DEA agent in question, has reportedly agreed to a plea deal with the federal prosecutors.

In a court filing at San Francisco, prosecutors revealed that Carl Force will be facing charges of obstruction of justice, extortion and money laundering. Force is one of the two federal agents, who had been arrested in March for stealing from the Silk Road website. He will be entering his guilty plea on 1st of July, while the sentencing for the case is scheduled to take place at a later date.

Crimes Committed by Force

According to the court filings, Carl Force used several fake online accounts to steal and extort form Ross Ulbricht, the founder of Silk Road. Using an account called “Nob”, Force enticed Ulbricht to conduct a “fake hit” against one of the former admins on the site and got in return, a payment of about $90,000.

Force had another account, the “French Maid”, which was not known to his superiors at the DEA. Using the “French Maid”, Force is supposed to have passed on a lot of inside information about the government’s investigation of the Silk Road. He was paid a sum of $100,000 in bitcoins for his services as the French Maid. Operating with a third fake account, “Death From Above”, Carl Force is said to have attempted extortion from Ulbricht, saying that he knew who Ulbricht was and threatening to expose him to the Feds. However, this attempt failed as Force had no idea about who Ulbricht actually was – Ulbricht found out that Force had the wrong person tagged as the Silk Road founder.

Carl ForceForce is also charged with conducting various questionable acts against some other organizations and bitcoin users in a separate case to the Silk Road. He is said to have acquired a De Facto Compliance Officer position at a “digital currency exchange company” CoinMKT, where he used his position as a DEA agent to help the company do criminal background checks and at one point, said to have frozen a customer’s account and drained $297,000 in bitcoins from it into his own personal account.

This new development in the case comes at the heels of the news of another federal agent, Shaun Bridges agreeing to a plea deal regarding the same Silk Road case. Meanwhile, Ulbricht’s defense lawyers tried to use these two charges against Bridges and Force, as evidence for a retrial. However, they were denied the motion making no alterations to Ulbricht’s sentencing who had been given a life imprisonment sentence last month.

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Silk Road Agent Will Plead Guilty To Charges

ANNOUNCEMENT: Since the Silk Road 2.0 bust by the feds a few other Darknet Markets have fallen. The best Darknet Market available is the Agora Marketplace. It has the best reputation and a bigger selection of goods than Silk Road 2.0.

>> Click here to find the best alternative: Agora Marketplace <<

A former special agent and computer forensics expert with the United States Secret Service has reached a plea deal on charges that he fraudulently obtained $820,000 dollars in Bitcoin during the investigation into the online black market “Silk Road”, according to court documents.

Notice of the agreement was filed in the United States District Court Northern District of California on 17th June 2015, with the court filing including the request that Shawn Bridges will enter his guilty pleas to money laundering and wire fraud on 31st August 2015 or 1st September 2015, depending on the availability of the court. As part of the-agreement, the United States government has requested that Shawn Bridges relinquishes any property that’s traceable to his illicit actions and be forced to pay “a money-judgment that’s equivalent to the total amount of property” that is involved in the violations.

Shaun BridgesShaun W. Bridges, 32, of Laurel, Maryland was part of the Baltimore Silk Road task force that was known as SA Force — a group that had been charged with tracking down Ross Ulbricht, who used the moniker “Dread Pirate Roberts.” He was assigned to conduct forensic computer investigations as part of an effort to locate the servers of Silk Road servers for SA Force.

Shaun allegedly used information he had obtained from his interrogation of Curtis Green, a customer service representative of the Silk Road, who had administrator access, to access the systems of Silk Road, reset a few passwords and allegedly stole $820,000 worth of bitcoins. Shaun then kept the illicit funds in a Bitcoin exchange that was known as Mt. Gox. Mt. Gox infamously collapsed last year after it admitted that it had lost track of several hundreds of millions of dollars in Bitcoins. Shaun then allegedly wired funds into one of his own investment accounts in the U.S. a day before he sought a $2.1 million seizure warrant for Mt. Gox’s accounts.

Carl ForceOn the team with Bridges was Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) agent Carl Mark Force IV, 46, of Baltimore, who’s also facing criminal charges. Carl Force is charged with extorting Ross Ulbricht, as well as theft of government property, money laundering, wire fraud and conflict of interest.

The filing indicates that Carl Force completed ten wire transfers from the proceeds of his illegal actions on the Silk Road to bank accounts at PNC Bank and Quantum Fidelity. 9 of the wire transfers were for amounts that exceeded $ 99,000, according to a separate 16th June 2015 filing, with the largest amount totalling $ 225,000.

Bridges, who had joined the U.S. Secret Service in 2009, resigned from the U.S. Secret Service on March 18th 2015. He later surrendered to authorities in San Francisco and was released on bail a few days later. Shaun’s attorney, Steven Levin has said that his client accepts responsibility and he has regretted his actions from the start.

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Silk Road Undercover Agent Sent Messages To Mt. Gox CEO

ANNOUNCEMENT: Since the Silk Road 2.0 bust by the feds a few other Darknet Markets have fallen. The best Darknet Market available is the Agora Marketplace. It has the best reputation and a bigger selection of goods than Silk Road 2.0.

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FBIThe undercover agent accused of stealing from the now defunct darknet site, Silk Road, sent a series of messages to the then Mt. Gox CEO, Mark Karpeles. The new information has come to light as the latest twist to the ongoing investigation into the illegal conduct of two agents who were investigating the Silk Road enterprise in order to shut it down and reveal its ownership.

The messages have been released by Mark Karpeles, former owner and CEO of Mt. Gox, a popular Bitcoin exchange website. The messages were shared over the professional network, LinkedIn.

In a message from April 2013, the agent asked Mark to add him to his professional network on LinkedIn because of his fascination with the popular cryptocurrency, bitcoin. After Mt. Gox CEO gave a reply the following day, thanking the agent and asking how he might help, the Silk Road agent sent a message saying that he wanted to explore other money-making options as the US government was due for an economic crash within five years.

Mt. Gox CEO

This strange message was not replied to by Mt. Gox CEO, at which point the agent asked for support on a sales deal worth about 250 bitcoins. During the time, this amount of bitcoins would have amounted to around $30,000.

However, Mark chose not to respond to this message as well. Still, about a month later, the undercover agent in the Silk Road investigation sent a message to Mt. Gox CEO with regard to the failed deal with Coinlab. In the message, the agent also expressed his intention to work with Mark by taking on the role of Mt. Gox’s representative for US and Canada.

The message, like many others before it, did not elicit a response from Mark Karpeles. About a week later, the agent posted another message; it would also be his last. The message implied that Mark made a mistake by failing to get into the previously suggested partnership with him.

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Silk Road Undercover Agents Accused Of Stealing Bitcoin

ANNOUNCEMENT: Since the Silk Road 2.0 bust by the feds a few other Darknet Markets have fallen. The best Darknet Market available is the Agora Marketplace. It has the best reputation and a bigger selection of goods than Silk Road 2.0.

>> Click here to find the best alternative: Agora Marketplace <<

BitcoinsTwo former federal agents have recently been charged with the crime of stealing over $800,000 worth of bitcoin from the defunct online black marketplace Silk Road while carrying out their duties. These two were special agents working with the Baltimore Silk Road Task Force, which led the investigations that culminated in the 2013 shutdown of this darknet website, along with the arrest of Ross Ulbricht aka Dread Pirates Roberts, the man who was recently convicted of running Silk Road.

Shaun Bridges, formerly of the US Secret Service is accused of taking $800,000 worth of bitcoins via an account he gained control of during the investigations carried out on this online black marketplace. He is alleged to have transferred the funds to his own personal account while working as a computer forensics expert in the investigation. The DOJ complaint made against him claims that he utilized the special access he obtained by spearheading the arrest of Curtis Green; one the administrator of Silk Road who used the alias “Flush”. The complaint asserts that Bridges or someone who worked in his place used the information on Flush’s account together with another one that wasn’t specified to steal 20,000 bitcoins worth $350,000.

Silk Road MarketplaceCarl Force formerly of the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), and who was the lead undercover agent in the investigation is also accused with the same charges. Force was given the responsibility of initiating communications with Dread Pirates Roberts, the Silk Road administrator, but is alleged to have used this privilege for his own personal motives. He is accused of selling DPR information on the ongoing investigation, using the unauthorized alias of “French Maid” for which he was paid $100,000 while at the same time he made use of his authorized alias of “Nob” to get a total 925 bitcoins worth $90,000 paid in two installments in exchange for information. Nob posed as a drug smuggler operating in the US claiming to possess extensive criminal connections across the globe. However, according to Force’s official statement he claimed he did not receive any money from DPR.

He is also accused of investing and also working for an online bitcoin exchange firm, CoinMKT, where he is alleged to have used his clout as a DEA agent to assist this firm to conduct criminal checks on their clients. Which ultimately enabled him to freeze one client’s account, the proceeds from which he transferred to his own personal account. Force is also accused of sending an unlawful DOJ subpoena to an online payment firm containing a request to unfreeze his own personal account.

All in all, according to the DOJ complaint, Shaun Bridges faces charges of fraud and money laundering. Carl Force faces similar charges in addition to stealing government property as well as conflict of interest. The laptop confiscated from Ross Ulbricht and containing evidence that was used against him in his trial, is also said to have evidence that will be used against these two former federal agents. This includes details on chats they had with Silk Road administrator, Dread Pirates Roberts (Ulbricht), along with others that can prove invaluable in their eventual conviction.

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