Prosecutors have revealed that two federal agents have been charged with stealing Silk Road bitcoins. Former Drug Enforcement Agent (DEA) Carl Force and Secret Service agent Shaun Bridges allegedly abused their credentials while investigating Silk Road to transfer the coins to personal wallets.
The official accounting of Silk Road bitcoins until now was 29,656 seized from the site’s servers and 144,000 from convicted operator Ross Ulbricht. The majority have already been auctioned off by the US Marshals Service, with one more auction slated later this year. But apparently there were more.
The two agents were part of a Silk Road Task Force in Baltimore. As part of his investigation, Force had posed as ‘French Maid’ on Silk Road and offered to sell administrator Dread Pirate Roberts (DPR) information on the investigation for $100,000 in bitcoin. The role of French Maid became known last month after reporters were able to raid DPR’s e-mail account because prosecutors reportedly failed to redact its login credentials. Force also posed as a drug dealer and offered to sell DPR info from a corrupt Justice Department employee. He allegedly pocketed the funds in both cases, and later started a venture engaged in digital currency investments.
In addition, Force functioned as an investor and/or de facto compliance officer at bitcoin exchange CoinMKT. He allegedly had the exchange freeze the account of a user for suspicious activity, despite learning that a technical glitch was what aroused the suspicions. He had the exchange transfer funds from the account, which held $300,000 in cash and digital currency, to a DEA account. However, he had the funds sent to a personal account.
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He also allegedly faked a Department of Justice (DOJ) subpoena to a payment processor, demanding that it unfreeze his personal account.
Bridges allegedly used the credentials taken from an arrested Silk Road employee, Curtis Green, to transfer $820,000 worth of bitcoin to his personal account on Mt. Gox, and from there, to a Fidelity account. Unnerved, DPR allegedly offered the undercover DEA agent $80,000 to kill Green, whose death he faked.
Both agents allegedly attempted to cover their tracks, and resigned once they knew they were under investigation.
Ironically, an award-winning Secret Service agent recently slammed Bitcoin as being mostly used by criminals.