The United States files civil complaint to forfeit thousands of Silk Road related Bitcoins! The United States files civil complaint, according to David L. Anderson of the Northern District of California and Special Agent in Charge of the Washington DC field office.
“Silk Road was the most notorious online criminal marketplace of its day,” said U.S. Attorney Anderson. “The successful prosecution of Silk Road’s founder in 2015 left open a billion-dollar question. Where did the money go? Today’s forfeiture complaint answers this open question at least in part. $1 billion of these criminal proceeds are now in the United States’ possession.”
“Criminal proceeds should not remain in the hands of the thieves. Through CI’s expertise in following the money, we were able to track down the illicit funds,” said IRS-CI Special Agent in Charge Kelly R. Jackson. “The Washington DC Cyber Crimes Unit is uniquely specialized in tracing virtual currency transactions and we will continue to hone our skills to combat illegal activity.”
According to the allegations of the civil forfeiture complaint, from 2011 to 2013 when the funds were seized by law enforcement, the Silk Road was the most sophisticated and extensive black marketplace on the internet. Unlawful goods and services were regularly bought and sold by site’s users.
The civil complaint also alleges that the Silk Road was used by thousands of drug dealers, unlawful vendors, and was used as a vector to distribute hundreds of kilograms of illegal drugs. They also say that over 100,000 buyers were serviced using the Silk Road, and hundreds of millions of dollars were laundered from those transactions.
When the Silk Road was taken down in 2013, it had nearly 13,000 listings for controlled substances and many more listings offering illegal services. Some of those services included computer hacking and murder for hire.
Ross Ulbricht was eventually arrested and convicted by a New York federal jury of decent criminal counts.
As of November 4th, 2020, the Bitcoins seized by law enforcement was valued at over $1 billion dollars.
The civil complaint alleges that certain property is subject to forfeiture. The United States must prove that the items, the Bitcoins in question, are subject to forfeiture. If the United States is successful, the court will order all interests of any potential claimant forfeited to the United States.
What do you think? Let us know on our Facebook page!