Agent Force Tried to Work With Bitcoin Exchange Mt. Gox Before Collapse

DEA Agent Carl Force, who is presently charged with stealing bitcoins from Ross Ulbricht during his investigation of the Silk Road, also attempted to work for Mt. Gox during 2013.

According to e-mail screenshots published by Mark Karpeles, the agent first made contact via LinkedIn. When Karpeles responded to Force's statement that he "loves the Bitcoin," asking if there was anything Karpeles and Mt. Gox could do to help Force, Force stated that he was looking to arrange the sale of 250 bitcoins.

"The American Government and Economy Will Crash"

Force appears to be a dissatisfied federal employee, complaining to Karpeles about furlough days in 2013 and 2014. Perhaps most interestingly, he states in one e-mail that "the American government and economy will crash in the next five years. I see Bitcoin as the currency of the future, ie Cyprus."

In early May, 2013, Force wrote again to Karpeles, expressing dismay at what had transpired between Coinlab and Mt. Gox – Coinlab was suing Mt. Gox for $75 million, alleging that Mt. Gox wasn't transferring existing North American customers as part of the arrangement the two companies had made.

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Also read: Japanese Police Suspect 99% of Mt. Gox Bitcoins Missing Due to Fraud, Not Transaction Malleability Hack

"If you are still looking for a U. S. and Canada representative, please keep me in mind," Force wrote.

Smiley Face

The most onerous of the e-mails Karpeles has made public was the last one that Force sent to him, where he says, "told you should have partnered with me!"

The very day he sent this e-mail, the Department of Homeland Security in the US had seized the funds of Mt. Gox's US subsidiary, because it was operating as an unlicensed money transfer business. Later, in June, 2013, Mt. Gox became a licensed money transfer business in the United States.

Speculation

Reddit users have begun to speculate that the coins missing from Mt. Gox which caused it to implode may well have been stolen by the US Government. There is little to back this up, at present, and if it were true, it certainly wouldn't come with a full admission by government agents. This is the sort of thing that would be done quietly. The motive and the means certainly exist, as at the height of Mt. Gox, bitcoins were all the rage, being almost a thousand times as valuable as the US dollar.

The real question is what effect, if any, Carl Mark Force IV's arrest will have on Ross Ulbricht's appeal following sentencing. His lawyer recently stated publicly that he was not allowed to use this evidence, apparently known to him at the time, in court. Misconduct on the part of the agents should certainly be known to the jurors, as it could be a great contributor to reasonable doubt.

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P. H. Madore @bitillionaire

P. H. Madore has written for CCN since 2014. Please send breaking news tips or requests for investigation to bitillionaire+phm@gmail.com. He lives in Maine, USA. A single father of four young children, he does not discourage financial donations, provided they do not come with strings attached.

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