Feds seize $1 billion in bitcoin from Silk Road drug marketplace

On Wednesday, Ars reported that somebody had transferred near $1 billion in bitcoin out of a pockets seemingly related to the Silk Highway crime bazaar. Now we all know who that thriller occasion is: the US Division of Justice, which in 2013 shut down Silk Highway and went on to place its founder, Ross Ullbricht behind bars for all times.

“The profitable prosecution of Silk Highway’s founder in 2015 left open a billion-dollar query. The place did the cash go?” US Legal professional David Anderson mentioned in a information launch, in keeping with the San Francisco Chronicle. “As we speak’s forfeiture grievance solutions this open query not less than partially. $1 billion of those prison proceeds at the moment are in the USA’ possession.”

Silk Highway and Ulbricht had been among the many hottest and profitable on-line crime figures in Web historical past. Hosted on the nameless darkish internet, the service introduced collectively sellers and patrons of medicine, faux IDs, and nearly another sort of illicit good or service possible. Silk Highway took a lower of every transaction. The proceeds had been enormous.

Now, 5 years after Ulbricht was convicted and sentenced to 2 life phrases plus 40 years, US attorneys have filed a civil grievance. The Inner Income Service Legal Investigation arm assisted within the forfeiture. The transfer got here two days after blockchain analysts observed somebody had transferred 69,369 BTC—price about $975 million—out of an account that had obtained them from Silk Highway. The pockets, which remained quiet since 2015, was the world’s fourth greatest.

“Legal proceeds mustn’t stay within the arms of the thieves,” mentioned Inner Income Service Legal Investigation Particular Agent in Cost Kelly R. Jackson in a information launch, in keeping with the Chronicle. “By CI’s [Criminal Investigation] experience in following the cash, we had been in a position to observe down the illicit funds.”

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