According to a recent report released by the United States Department of Jusitce, two former federal agents have been charged with the theft of over $800,000 in bitcoins.
Former DEA officer Carl Mark Force IV and former Secret Service agent Shaun Bridges were assigned to the Silk Road investigation, an infamous black market that was seized and shutdown on November 6th, 2013. Over 174,000 bitcoins were seized in total–or roughly $190,000,000 at the time.
The market was created by Ross Ulbricht, a man simply known on Silk Road as “Dead Pirate Roberts”.
Force, who was the head agent on the Silk Road case, was able to set up fake profiles and blackmail Ulbricht. Force was able to acquire over $100,000, and quickly shuffled the funds to personal accounts. In addition to the Silk Road investigation, Force was able to steal over $275,000 from the digital currency exchange CoinMKT . Force used his position to seize accounts and ultimately move these bitcoins to his personal accounts once again.
Former Secret Service agent Bridges stole over $800,000 in bitcoins during his stint with the investigation.
Both men are convicted of wire fraud and money laundering, in addition to a handful of other charges.
This recent investigation against the agents working the Silk Road case could have implications towards Ross Ulbricht, who was convicted of 7 charges including narcotics-trafficking and money-laundering. He faces 30 years to life in prison, but the new allegations against former agents Force and Bridges could have a large effect on the validity of Ulbricht’s trial.