Man Indicted For Selling Counterfeit Coupons On Silk Road

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Ross Ulbricht, the creator of the now defunct Silk Road has been the getting most of the headlines lately, because he was recently sentenced to life in prison, for his role as the operator of the online marketplace where a lot of illegal activity went on. A few days ago, a Louisiana man managed to steal some of the headlines from Ulbricht, when he was arrested by the federal law enforcement agents, for selling fake coupons on Silk Road and Silk Road 2.0.


Beau WattigneyThe U.S. Department of Justice released a statement that said that 30 year old Beau Wattigney had been arrested and charged with conspiracy to commit trademark counterfeiting, and conspiracy to commit wire fraud. According to the statement, Wattigney was selling counterfeit coupons, which buyers were using at local stores to get discounts, or sold to other people.

At first glance, the charges may seem harsh for selling fake coupons, but the DOJ provided some more details. The coupons that he sold are said to have used counterfeit trademarks and logos of some of the top coupon distributing services, to deceive the buyers into believing they are legitimate.

One of those coupon packages that Wattigney sold went for the bitcoin equivalent of $50, while another coupon he sold was for one cent. According to the DOJ, the coupon that sold for one cent allowed the people that bought them to get $50 Visa Gift cards. If all the fake coupons he had sold had been used, businesses would have ended up losing over $1 million.

Even though the coupons that he sold were counterfeit, a lot of the businesses honored them, despite the fact that they couldn’t be scanned. This is because of the goodwill that a lot of businesses have when it comes to redeeming coupons, because they don’t want to lose their customers.

Ross Ulbricht While the DEA and FBI were responsible for arresting Ross Ulbricht and shutting down Silk Road, this is the DOJ’s first arrest in their effort to crack down on dark web marketplaces, and it is also the first time someone has been arrested for selling counterfeit coupons on the dark web.