Rogue Silk Road Agent Admits to Stealing Bitcoins Seized by U.S. Marshals
Back in 2015 two rogue U.S. Secret Service agents, Shaun Bridges and Carl Mark Force, were caught and sentenced to prison for stealing funds while investigating the first high profile darknet market the Silk Road. Now according to reports, Shaun Bridges plead guilty on August 15 for moving 1,600 bitcoins of seized bitcoins confiscated by federal authorities.
Former U.S. Secret Service Agent Shaun Bridges Admits to Stealing 1600 Bitcoins Seized by the Federal Authorities
The tale of the underground Silk Road marketplace seems to never end, as U.S. prosecutors have recently charged former special agent Shaun Bridges with money laundering crimes. According to court documents uploaded to Pacer, Bridges moved 1606.6488 BTC worth US$6.6B at press time out of a federal account held on Bitstamp. At the time the stolen coins were only worth about a half of a million, and according to documents some of the funds moved to the two exchanges BTC-e and Bitfinex.
According to Arstechnica, Bridges was willing to answer questions and agreed to a plea bargain. William Frentzen, the Assistant United States Attorney, details to the publication that the stolen funds were dispersed between BTC-e, a hardware wallet, and the Bitfinex exchange.
“We would also prove that Mr. Bridges, following the government’s discovery that the bitcoin were missing and that they had in fact been moved, the government was able to obtain the bitcoin at Bitfinex,” explained the court’s prosecutor. “And we then met with Mr. Bridges, and through the course of that time we returned the bitcoin.”
Plea Bargains and ‘Keys to the Kingdom’
After the prosecution read their statements, Judge Seeborg asked Bridges if everything that was said to him was true. The former federal agent replied by stating the facts were accurate while also admitting he processed the bitcoin transactions shown to him in court. It’s unclear right now what kind of plea bargain Bridges made with the prosecution, but he could face ten years in prison and a $250,000 fine.
According to Ross Ulbricht’s family, Bridges and Carl Mark Force tainted the entire Silk Road investigation and Ulbricht’s hearing as well. Much of the information about the two rogue officers were kept hidden from courts even though the Ulbricht family said the two agents had “keys to the Silk Road Kingdom.”
Ulbricht’s defense said Force and Bridges had access to Silk Road administrator passwords, they could commandeer accounts, including DPR’s (and act as DPR), access private bitcoin keys, bank accounts and more. So far, Bridges has admitted to stealing millions of dollars worth of seized bitcoins, stolen before the two officers were taken into custody. Now Bridges will face more prison time when Judge Seeborg sentences the former agent in the next few months.
What do you think about the rogue agent Bridges being charged for money laundering and stealing 1600 BTC from the Feds? Let us know what you think in the comments below.
Images via Shutterstock, Pacer, and KTVU.
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