The alleged architect of the first Silk Road, known to users as Dread Pirate Roberts and to the government as Ross Ulbricht, is currently facing two separate federal cases. The first is in Baltimore for a single murder-for-hire plot which the government feels it has enough evidence to proceed. The other is in New York for four counts of participation in a narcotics trafficking conspiracy, running a continuing criminal enterprise, computer hacking, and a money laundering conspiracy.
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An important note is that at the end of a court document relating to the case, wherein Ulbricht’s request for the aforementioned four charges to be dismissed is categorically denied, the government states in black and white that “Bitcoin can be used for money laundering.”
In Ulbricht’s New York District case (14-cr-68-KBF, US vs. Ulbricht), the prosecutors intend to use accusations of six murder-for-hire plots in an effort to paint him as more evil. That’s the only way to put it since very few people believe that Ulbricht’s legal defense will prevail in the first place. What better way to ensure that he will get plenty of time than to mention in court that he also tried to pay for the killing of enemies? The federal prosecutor’s excuse is that this contributes to their case that he protected his criminal enterprise.
One of the murder-for-hire charges involves an employee who’d supposedly stolen $350,000 worth of Bitcoin from Ulbricht, who is supposed to have primarily made his living during the rise and fall of the Silk Road by charging fees from drug dealers and peddlers of other unsavory and illegal products. Also mentioned is a Silk Road user named Friendly Chemist, who at some point along the way blackmailed Ulbricht for $500,000, threatening to publicize information about vendors and customers if he were not paid off.
CCN.com is following this case closely. Ulbricht’s trial is set for next month and we will have all the details for you then.
Does the the words “money laundering” and “Bitcoin” in the same sentence entering the legal lexicon bother you? Comment below!
Images from Pixabay and Silk Road.