The former agent of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, Carl Mark Force IV will admit money laundering and extortion during the investigation of Silk Road Case. His prosecutors requested a special hearing to enter the guilty pleas.
The hearing might happen as early as 1 July 2015, Bloomberg reports. The request for the hearing was signed by the prosecutors and the lawyer of Carl Mark Force IV Ivan Bates.
According to the court materials, Carl Mark Force IV used the alias “French Maid” to communicate with Ross Ulbricht during the investigation. He extorted money from him and sent him classified information about the investigation.
“Using the alias and others, Force channeled more than $400,000 in digital currency to his personal bank accounts,” says Bloomberg.
On 18 June, Shaun W. Bridges, one of the two former U.S. Federal Agents accused of stealing money from the underground black market, pleaded guilty to money laundering and obstruction of justice.
According to the investigators, Bridges arrested a member of the Silk Road customer support and used his passwords to move $820,000 worth of bitcoin from Silk Road to his account at Mt. Gox. After a few more transfers, the bitcoins converted into U.S. dollars safely landed in his bank account. Or at least he thought it was safe.
Ross Ulbricht, the founder of Silk Road, who ran a notorious Darknet market under the alias of Dread Pirate Roberts, has been convicted of seven charges including money laundering, drug trafficking, and computer hacking, and sentenced in May 2015 to a life imprisonment. It has been suggested by Ulbricht’s lawyer that following a government’s directive the misdeeds of the two federal agents were not made public before Ulbricht’s conviction to avoid influencing the jury.
In general, the involvement of federal officials in a bitcoin theft provoked uproar in the bitcoin community. Further evidence, provided by Mark Karpeles, former CEO of Mt. Gox, seemed to suggest that Carl Mark Force IV used his official position to extort money from bitcoiners and tried to become Mt. Gox’s representative in the U.S. and Canada. He even wrote “told you should have partnered with me!” when the account of the Japan-based exchange was seized by the U.S. government. Some Redditors went as far as to suggest that the crash of Mt. Gox as a whole had been provoked by the U. S. government wishing to steal money.