Carl Force IV, the former Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) agent accused of Bitcoin-related fraud, has pleaded guilty to charges.
He was convicted on charges of extortion, money laundering and obstruction of justice for alleged fraud perpetrated during the Silk Road investigation and other bitcoin-related crimes.
While part of the Baltimore-based task force, Force posed as ‘French Maid’ and offered administrator Dread Pirate Roberts (DPR) information on the investigation for bitcoins. He also posed as a drug dealer and offered to sell DPR information from a corrupt Justice Department employee. He did make the DEA aware of his conversations, but claimed no payments were made. He then allegedly transferred the funds to personal accounts.
Outside of the Silk Road investigation, he also allegedly sent a fake subpoena to mobile payments company Venmo, which had frozen his account due to suspicious activity. In addition, he allegedly abused his credentials to threaten bitcoin exchange Bitstamp, which had also frozen his funds.
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He also managed to become an investor/compliance officer with crypto exchange CoinMKT, where he ordered the funds in one account to be frozen for suspicious activity. He then had the funds transferred to his personal account.
Force also planned on contacting Twenty-First Century Fox to make a movie about Silk Road. He would have received $240,000 in the deal.
Wearing an orange jump suit and in leg shackles, he pleaded guilty at a San Francisco federal court. He and prosecutors agreed to a plea deal one week earlier, days after co-accused Shaun Bridges agreed to plead guilty scheduled for next month.
The convictions have raised accusations that the Silk Road investigation, which led to accused mastermind Ross Ulbricht’s sentence to life in prison, was corrupt. Ulbricht’s attorney, Joshua Dratel, said that the development “removes any question about the corruption that pervaded the investigation of Silk Road.”