Bitcoin Thievery Nets Former Secret Service Agent More Prison Time
A former Secret Service agent is learning that stealing Bitcoins was not going to lead to smooth sailing. His theft in the Silk Road scandal just earned him two more years of prison time.
The path to getting out of prison just got longer for a former U.S. Secret Service agent caught in the infamous Bitcoin Silk Road scandal.
Shaun Bridges was slapped with two more years of prison for his role in another digital currency scandal, also involving Bitcoin.
When a Secret Service agent goes rogue
Bridges was already serving a nearly six-year sentence diverting more than $800,000 worth of Bitcoins to his personal account while his agency was investigating an online drug scheme.
According to Reuters, Bridges was sentenced to the two additional years by a U.S. District Court judge after he plead guilty in August to money laundering. This was the second criminal case to be brought against him.
Bridges was sentenced to the six years in 2015, but before serving that sentence, he was arrested on the new charges that netted the two additional years. Prosecutors say the second arrest stems from him stealing almost $400,000 worth of Bitcoin. Reports note that today’s value for that crypto loot is $11.3 million.
The second round of Bitcoin theft had been seized from a digital currency exchange in 2014.
Not so smooth
Silk Road was an underground website, and was created in 2011. It emerged as the most sophisticated and extensive criminal marketplace on the Internet, serving as a sprawling black-market bazaar where unlawful goods and services, including illegal drugs of virtually all varieties, were bought and sold regularly by the site’s users, notes the U.S. Justice Department.
While in operation, Silk Road was used by thousands of drug dealers and other unlawful vendors to distribute hundreds of kilograms of illegal drugs and other unlawful goods and services to more than 100,000 buyers, and to launder hundreds of millions of dollars deriving from these unlawful transactions. – U.S. Justice Department
Roughly $145 million worth of Bitcoins were derived from Silk Road’s illegal activities. The cryptos were eventually recovered by the Feds from the laptop computer of the mastermind of the operation, Ross William Ulbricht.
He was found guilty in 2015 of a laundry list of charges. They included distributing narcotics via the Internet; conspiring to commit computer hacking; and falsifying identity documents.
In October of this year, the U.S. Justice Department announced the forfeiture of $48 million from the sale of Silk Road Bitcoins.
Silk Road operated for more than two years before it was shut down in October 2013. During those two years, it managed to generate more than $214 million in sales of drugs and other illicit goods using Bitcoins, prosecutors said.