✎ So it's time for some good old fashion commentary today. This coming from CNN. We'd already heard of this, so there's many stories abroad regarding the details, thus the commentary only.
Washington (CNN) - The federal government became owners of one of the biggest troves of Bitcoin, thanks to seizing millions of dollars in the digital currency from criminals associated with the online black market Silk Road.
Two federal agents who helped lead one of several investigations in the case allegedly decided they wanted some of the money for themselves, according to a new federal court documents.
The two now-former (✎ ya think?) agents from the Drug Enforcement Administration and the U.S. Secret Service are charged with wire fraud, money laundering and other offenses for allegedly stealing Bitcoin during the federal investigation of Silk Road, an underground illicit black market federal prosecutors shut down in 2013.
The charges in a criminal complaint filed in San Francisco federal court paints a picture of corrupt federal agents trying to enrich themselves as they tried to bring down one of the Internet's top cybercriminals.
✎ Actually they brought down a website, and a facilitator of criminal behavior, and not really the Internet's "top cyber-criminals" ... that can't seem to catch a damn soul when it comes to real crime, people get ripped of in the millions every month by crooked exchanges and "inside jobs".
The charges against the agents could end up causing complications for the government's case against Ross Ulbricht, also known as "Dread Pirate Roberts", the Silk Road founder. Ulbricht was found guilty last year of aiding drug trafficking with his site. He is awaiting sentencing. As a result of the case against Ulbricht and others, the federal government seized bitcoin that it said at the time was valued at more than $33 million.
✎ So let's get this straight. The FBI snags $33 Million, sells it at auction for a nice big fat profit, and this is just fine, but these two particular FBI guys, snag a few hundred grand, and that's bad, are the FBI pissed at themselves for stealing from themselves? And yes, I said profit, I fail to see where they spent $33 Million catching Ulbricht, any 16 year old meth addict could have done the same thing. They both sound wrong to me. That $33 Million wasn't theirs, they took it, they took ownership, they sold it, and profited from it. How, exactly, is this considered OK? Just curious.
The agents now facing charges led a Baltimore-based murder-for-hire case against Ulbricht, separate from the drugs-related charges on which he was found guilty. The murder-for-hire case remains pending. Prosecutors identified the agents as Carl Force, 46 years old, of Baltimore, a special agent with the Drug Enforcement Administration, and Shaun Bridges, 32, of Laurel, Maryland, a special agent with the U.S. Secret Service.
Force was a lead agent in the case and was the main investigator communicating with Ulbricht. Force is charged with wire fraud, theft of government property, money laundering and conflict of interest.
Bridges was the computer forensics expert on the case. He is charged with wire fraud and money laundering.
Force allegedly set up fake online personas and tried to extort money from Ulbricht, including once trying to get $250,000 from him in exchange for not providing information to federal investigators, the criminal complaint says..
✎ There it is, theft of Government property, which would be the Government property that wasn't their, they took, and called it theirs to sell for a profit. See, pissed at themselves!
Using the online persona "French Maid," Force did succeed in getting $100,000 in Bitcoin from Ulbricht, which Force deposited in his personal accounts, the federal complaint says. He later used a series of Bitcoin and personal U.S. dollar transactions, including a $235,000 wire transfer to an account in Panama, to launder the stolen money, prosecutors allege in the complaint.
According to prosecutors, Force also used his position as an executive at a digital currency exchange called CoinMKT, in which he was an investor, to seize accounts of customers. He transferred $297,000 in illegally-seized digital currency to his personal accounts, prosecutors allege in the criminal complaint.
✎ Out of curiosity, who gave this idiot this job? I mean, this is the FBI!! Aren't they suppose to screen for this shit?
Bridges allegedly stole $820,000, using a series of wire transfers to move Bitcoin that earlier had been stolen from Silk Road in early 2013 and deposited in a Japanese bitcoin exchange Mt. Gox, according to prosecutors. Two days later, Bridges signed the government's warrant to seize millions of dollars in bitcoin from Mt. Gox accounts.✎ Perhaps he knows what happened to the other $400 MM?? Anyone?
Later, when he learned the FBI was investigating suspicious activity (suspicious activity? Now that is funny. So whereas every high school kid on earth, knew to go to Silk Road to buy drugs, but the F-B-I was checking into some suspicious activity, that might be going on) in the Silk Road investigation, he transferred $250,000 from his personal account to one he shared with someone else, according to the complaint.
✎ I'm sure there was more to this story, but that's about all that I could handle. You would think a leading leader in leading lead FBI shit, would know better than to blatantly screw up so badly, but then again, what do I know, other than to not do this. Idiots.
We did learn of one tidbit of information, Bitstamp apparently helped bring these guys down, they reported the suspicious activity (there is a reason for a SAR), so FinCEN can continue its badgering of Bitcoin traders now with even more justification ammunition. On that note, I'll leave you with this website, http://www.xbtbase.com ... in case you want to avoid anything that will suck on the federal level and your trading Bitcoins, the SAR jogged this into memory.