Former U.S. federal agent Carl Force has been sentenced to 78 months in prison. The sentence is substantially more than the four years of prison time sought by his attorneys while less than the 87-month prison sentence requested by U.S. prosecutors.
After pleading guilty to bitcoin theft and extortion during the government investigation of dark web drug marketplace Silk Road, rogue federal agent Carl Force IV has been sentenced to six and a half years in prison after admitting to charges of money laundering, extortion and obstruction of justice.
Force’s defense claimed mental health issues in seeking leniency for his prison sentence, according to court documents. His attorneys cited previous undercover work and a history of mental illness along with a family history of abuse and alcoholism in asking for a four-year sentence.
As reported by ArsTechnica, Force’s attorney Ivan Bates contended:
“There’s no doubt he’s going to jail. He’s lost his career. He’s lost his marriage; he’s lost everything he’s had. He’ll always have a life sentence because of the mental health issues he has.”
U.S. District Judge Richard Seeborg at the San Francisco federal court noted that “the extent and scope of Mr. Force’s betrayal of public trust is quite simply breathtaking.”
“It is compounded by the fact that it appears to have been motivated by greed and thrill seeking, including the pursuit of a book and movie deal,” he added.
The sentencing has had no effect on Ross Ulbricht’s sentencing where many thought the actions of corrupt agents could lead to reasonable doubt. The Silk Road creator was sentenced to life in prison this May.
Force was also found guilty for stealing $370,000 from a customer of CoinMKT, a bitcoin company he was moonlighting for, illegally. His sentence dictates that he pays $337,000 in restitution toward the victim along with $3,000 toward Curtis Green, a former Silk Road employee.
According to Reuters, Force said:
I’m sorry, I lost it and I don’t understand a lot of it.
Altogether, Force is alleged to have siphoned off funds up to $400,000 in bitcoin according to court filings. Another Baltimore-based fed and former Secret Service agent Shaun Bridges pled guilty in June to money laundering and obstruction of justice in the same investigation after admitting to stealing $820,000 in bitcoins. Bridge’s sentencing is scheduled in December this year.
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