BTC Entrepreneur Charlie Shrem Begins 2-Year Sentence; Fed agents charged for BTC theft

TAGs: Bitcoin,, charlie shrem, ross ulbricht, silk road

bitcoin-entrepreneur-charlie-shrem-begins-2-year-sentence-fed-agents-charged-for-bitcoin-thefBitinstant CEO Charlie Shrem begins his two-years sentence on March 30 at Lewisberg Federal Prison Camp in Pennsylvania.

Shrem used his Bitcoin exchange, to transfer money deposited in bank accounts by customers of the Silk Road—the notorious deep web drug marketplace.

The entrepreneur was arrested at New York’s JFK Airport. In April, he was charged with failing to report suspicious banking activity and laundering over $1 million worth of BTC to Silk Road users. He pleaded guilty to a reduced charge of aiding unlicensed money transmitting service and was sentenced to two years in prison in December. He was set to surrender in 90 days.

Shrem told CoinDesk that he was hoping to only serve 9-10 months and that “while it’s hardly going to be a pleasant experience, it could be a lot worse.

“Of course I’m scared, but I’ll get through it. I’ve prepared,” Shrem said.

In his blog titled So, I’m going to prison. Reflections from Bitcoins’ first felon, he wrote: “I don’t look for sympathy, I did the crime and I will do the time. They say those who stand by you in the bad times, deserve to be with you in the good times. Good times are coming and I look forward to it.”

Meanwhile, US Justice Department announced on Monday that charges against the two former agents in the Silk Road investigation has been filed in San Francisco federal court with offenses that includes wire fraud and money laundering.

According to authorities, former Drug Enforcement Administration agent Carl Force was the lead undercover agent in Silk Road investigation. He was the agent behind the authorized alias created to communicate with Silk Road creator Ross Ulbricht, who was using an alias “Dread Pirate Roberts.”

Force created unauthorized personas to extort $250,000 from Ulbricht and offered to sell information regarding the investigation for $100,000. He also stole $90,000 worth of BTC that Ulbricht paid him under the official alias used for investigation.

Secret Service special agent Shaun Bridges, on the other hand, sent over $800,000 worth of BTC that he controlled during the Silk Road investigation to his personal account.

Force was arrested and appeared in Baltimore court on Monday and Bridges surrendered and was released after appearing in court in San Francisco.

“It is clear from this complaint that fundamentally the government’s investigation of Mr. Ulbricht lacked any integrity, and was wholly and fatally compromised from the inside,” said Ulbricht’s lawyer Joshua Dratel.


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