U.S. District Judge Jed Rakoff sentenced Bitcoin enterpreneur Robert Faiella to four years in prison and forfeiture of $950,000. Faiella pleaded guilty in September in the case brought against him together with Charlie Shrem.
According to CBC.ca, Faiella pleaded guilty to the lesser of the crimes he had been charged with, namely tax evasion, but received a sentence that is considered harsh by bitcoin experts.
The businessman’s past actions played against him. During the hearing, judge Jed Rakoff mentioned that Faiella had already been convicted in a tax case.
"In his case, clearly he didn't learn the lesson," said the judge, who also ordered Faiella to forfeit $950,000.
According to the court’s verdict, Robert Faiella participated in a complex chain of operations that allowed the Silk Road website to have constant access to a bitcoin exchange. In this capacity, he was accused of assisting organized crime, but pleaded guilty to a lesser crime and will face the consequences.
One month ago, Jed Rakoff sentenced Faiella’s co-defendant, Charlie Shrem, to two years in prison for the same crime. While Robert Faiella is a relatively unknown bitcoin entrepreneur, Charlie Shrem is one of the first enthusiasts of digital currency and a founder of the Bitcoin Foundation.