Ross Ulbricht: Mastermind Behind Silk Road Charged
Ross Ulbricht in Deep Trouble
29-year old Ross Ulbricht is accused of money laundering, computer hacking and drug trafficking through his black market website Silk Road.
Silk Road has been closed down by the US government since October 2013, and is said to have done dealings worth $1 billion dollars.
The black market was home to the sale of illegal drugs, forged documents and pirated content.
Ulbricht was arrested back when the FBI shut down his site. The investigation entailed a seizure by officials of 173,991 bitcoins, worth $150 million.
Prosecutors allege that Ulbricht knowingly orchestrated the crime ring and even called for hits on six people.
According to his representation, Ross Ulbricht will not plead guilty to any of the charges. Ulbricht’s lawyer, Joshua Drantel said:
“The indictment was expected and does not contain any new factual allegations.We look forward to preparing Ross’ defence.”
Authorities claim that Ulbricht’s username on the black market site was Dread Pirate Roberts, a reference to a movie, The Princess Bride. All of Ulbricht’s Silk Road transactions were done using bitcoin.
Ulbricht claims that his personal bitcoins were wrongly seized as they were not circulated from or through Silk Road. He says they were found and taken from his personal computer. Ulbricht looks to gain what he believes is rightfully his.
Allegations were made against Ulbricht for hiring a hit on a former Silk Road employee. Fortunately, it was never carried through and the employee was never murdered.
Silk Road Forfeitures
Charlie Shrem, CEO of BitInstant was also arrested in the Silk Road scandal. Shrem was accused of money laundering on the black market site. He was later released on a $1 million bail and resigned from the Bitcoin Foundation board.
Now under house arrest, Shrem joins Ulbricht as one of those who added negative connotations against the bitcoin community.
However, not all Silk Road deals were illegal. One vendor, Peter Ward, sold accessories for drugs such as pipes and bongs, but not the drugs themselves. Officials took away his bitcoins, though they had no real connection to illegal activity.
Ward is currently setting up a defense to reclaim his falsely taken bitcoins.
For more news regarding the Silk Road scandal, stay posted to Coinreport.
Ross Ulbricht Image.