Forfeiture Order Against Silk Road DEA Agent

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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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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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