Bloomberg Reports that prosecutors have accused Ross William Ulbricht, the alleged mastermind of the Silk Road marketplace, of plotting to have six people murdered by murderers for hire.
Ulbricht had already been facing murder-for-hire charges in the state of Maryland, which have been evoked by prosecutors in the Silk Road case being handled by the Federal Court in New York. Similarly, while a formal case has not yet been built for the six alleged plots, they are being used as evidence in the Silk Road trial to show that he conspired to protect a criminal enterprise.
Assistant US attorneys Serrin Turner and Timothy Howard said:
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“Ulbricht solicited these murders for hire as part of his role as owner and operator of Silk Road, to retaliate against a former staff member who he believed had stolen bitcoins from the site and who he feared would provide information about the site.”
In one instance, Ulbricht allegedly conspired to dispose of an employee he accused of stealing $350,000 worth of bitcoins. In excerpts from electronic messages obtained by authorities, Ulbricht reportedly sought “muscle” to “get to him quickly.”
In another, he allegedly targeted a “Friendly Chemist” who blackmailed Ulbricht to pay $500,000, threatening to disclose the identities of Silk Road vendors and customers. “In my eyes, Friendly Chemist is a liability and I wouldn’t mind if he was executed,” Ulbricht allegedly wrote in an e-mail.
The case goes to trial on January 5th.