A lot has been written about Silk Road founder Ross Ulbricht and how he has been punished by the US court; however, there are some other criminals as well who were though not the part of Silk Road but of the investigative team. Though they were expected to do inquiry and investigation of Silk Road, they instead tried to misappropriate Bitcoin from the company.
Earlier in March of 2015, two federal agents who helped conduct one of the major investigations in the Silk Road case allegedly stole thousands in Bitcoin confiscated from the online dark marketplace. Now, one of these Shaun Bridges has agreed to plead guilty for the crime. Another agent Carl Force has not shown any such intention though.
The two agents were charged with several offenses including wire fraud and money laundering. However, as now this week, Bridges, a special agent for the U.S. Secret Service for the Silk Road case, has come to an agreement with the prosecutors and pleaded guilty for the theft of confiscated Bitcoin from Silk Road, he may get lenient punishment.
A little background about Bridges and how he was caught when he took part in a Baltimore task force as a computer forensics expert where he contributed to an investigation which acquired enough evidence to accuse Ross Ulbricht shows that he tried to misappropriate the Bitcoin. Ross Ulbricht has though been punished, Bridges is still being tried.
Money laundering and obstruction of justice are Other Two Charges
The allegation that has been put on Bridges is that during the operation he stole thousands in Bitcoin by obtaining the passwords to Silk Road from the marketplace’s customer support representative. He not just accessed the account but also moved the Bitcoin to his own personal account which later on became public.
Now, the prosecutors claims that the stolen Bitcoin were transferred into Japanese Bitcoin exchange Mt Gox, to convert the Bitcoin into U.S. dollars and then move it to his bank account. Though there is no accurate amount, it is being alleged that these worth around $820,000, which is equivalent to around 3,565 Bitcoin at current valuation.
However, after the punishment for Ross Ulbricht who did not plead guilty; rather, challenged the allegations, it looks Bridges has realized that pleading guilty can be a better solution. This week, in a filing at the San Francisco federal court, Bridges agreed to plead guilty for the theft of Bitcoin, money laundering and obstruction of justice.
To contact the reporter of this story: Deepak Tiwari at firstname.lastname@example.org