Former Secret Service agent Shaun Bridges, accused of embezzling $820,000 worth of bitcoin from online drug marketplace Silk Road during its investigation, has pleaded guilty to charges of money laundering and obstruction of justice. He faces a maximum of 20 years in jail and a $250,000 fine.
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.
Court documents indicate that he unlawfully carried out eight bank transfers of approximately $100,000, plus another two totaling over $250,000, between March 2013 and June 2014.
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He reached a plea deal with prosecutors in June, and formally submitted his plea yesterday.
Richard Weber, chief of IRS-Criminal Investigation, said the case as an “excellent example of the financial expertise of our special agents.” While it is usually impossible to apprehend crime performed over the Bitcoin blockchain, the combination of data seized from Silk Road, the bitcoin trail leading to it and analytical expertise bore fruit. “Through the analysis of both the blockchain and data from the Silk Road servers, we were able to trace the flow of funds, which eventually led to the defendant,” he said.
Former Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) agent Carl Force has also agreed to plead guilty, accused of pocketing bitcoins during the investigation, as well abusing his credentials to pocket more from other Bitcoin businesses.