According to reports, Davina Pujari, the lawyer of Shaun Bridges, the corrupt Secret Service agent who also played a role in the Silk Road investigations, has requested that she be removed from the case as she finds his recent appeal to be frivolous.
Ms. Pujari is the third lawyer for Bridges from the start of his appeals process in December 2015.
In a recent filing to the Court of Appeals in the 9th Circuit, she noted that after a careful examination of the record and a thorough study of the case law and relevant statutes, she has come to the conclusion that only legally insignificant issues are being presented in the appeal.
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The former special agent from the U.S. Secret Service pleaded guilty in August 2015 to charges of obstruction of justice and money laundering in connection with the incident of stealing bitcoins when carrying out investigations into the operations of the darknet marketplace Silk Road.
Subsequently, Bridges was sentenced to serve a term of 71 months in a prison.
Currently, he is serving this sentence in the federal prison located in Terre Haute in Indiana.
He is scheduled to be released from the prison in January 2021.
However, earlier this year in the month of February, the U.S. government pointed out that Bridges are likely to be involved in more thefts from the online drug marketplace Silk Road.
In her recent filing, Ms. Pujari has also highlighted an argument, which is partly based on Curtis Green’s testimony during the sentencing hearing of Bridges in December 2015.
Curtis Green was an employee of the now defunct Silk Road.
In her brief, she had pointed out that Green’s testimony was a surprise inclusion and noted that the claims were made for the first time.
She added that they did not figure in the plea agreement at all.
Moreover, the accuracy of these claims was questionable.
The district court had noted that the testimony given by Green was a significant factor in the case.
Bridges’ contention in the appeal brief filed by him is that the testimony of Green was not subjected to any kind of scrutiny or cross-examination and that his testimony cannot be considered as clear and convincing evidence.
When Green spoke at the sentencing hearing of Bridges, he was not a witness under oath.
Bridges argues in his appeal brief that his plea deal, which consists of an appeal rights waiver, is not valid as Green was permitted to speak.
He has also argued in the brief that the district court has made a mistake in the calculation of the losses incurred.
Green debriefed Shaun Bridges, Carl Mark Force (a former DEA agent who is currently behind bars on corruption charges related to the same Silk Road investigation), and other Baltimore agents in January 2013.
Following the meeting in Utah, Bridges got hold of the login credentials of Green and initiated the process of locking out the accounts of the Silk Road dealers.
Bridges then looted their accounts and grabbed as much as 20,000 bitcoins.
However, the recent filing by Davina Pujari does not address the new and unsealed charges that were brought up last month by the government against Bridges.
The government strongly suspects that Bridges has stolen another $700,000 after the finalization of his plea deal.