Feds seize $28M in bitcoins - FOX 10 News | fox10phoenix.com

Feds seize $28M in bitcoins

Posted: Updated:
(AP Photo/Rick Bowmer) (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)

The United States Attorney in New York says about $28 million worth of bitcoins have been seized from a man charged with operating a notorious online drug marketplace known as Silk Road.

U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara said approximately 144,226 bitcoins were found on computer hardware belonging to Ross William Ulbricht.

Ulbricht went by the name "Dread Pirate Roberts" as he ran the Silk Road website, a hidden website designed to enable its users to buy and sell illegal drugs and other goods and services anonymously.

Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara said: "With his arrest and our subsequent seizures of millions of dollars worth of Silk Road's Bitcoins, we have sent a clear message to him and everyone else running criminal enterprises on the dark web: we are determined and equipped to hold you to account."

Federal authorities in New York have charged Ulbricht with three felonies related to the operation of the website. He was sent to New York from California earlier this month.

Federal law enforcement agents have now seized a total of approximately 173,991 bitcoins in connection with the Silk Road case, which, at today's bitcoin exchange rate, are worth over $33.6 million.

The bitcoins have been seized in connection with a civil action previously filed in Manhattan federal court on September 30, 2013, seeking the forfeiture of all assets of Silk Road, including its website and all of its bitcoins because those assets allegedly were used to facilitate money laundering and constitute property involved in money laundering.

"Ulbricht's goals were to make millions from drug use and money laundering while protecting the world's criminals from law enforcement," DEA agent in charge Brian Crowell said. "Our goal is to shut these people down and protect our children and DEA will continue to be relentless in this effort."

The Feds have called Silk Road the most sophisticated and extensive criminal marketplace on the Internet during its approximately two-and-a-half years in operation. It's estimated that the site facilitated approximately $1.2 billion in sales and approximately $80 million in commissions.

In addition to drugs, prosecutors say other illicit goods and services were also openly bought and sold on Silk Road.   They said that on September 23, 2013, there were: 159 listings under the category "Services," most of which offered computer-hacking services, such as a listing by a vendor offering to hack into social networking accounts of the customer's choosing; 801 listings under the category "Digital goods," including malicious software, hacked accounts at various online services, and pirated media content; and 169 listings under the category "Forgeries," including offers to produce fake driver's licenses, passports, Social Security cards, utility bills, credit card statements, car insurance records, and other forms of false identification documents.

The only form of payment accepted on Silk Road was Bitcoins, an anonymous, decentralized form of electronic currency, existing entirely on the Internet and not in any physical form.

  • New York State NewsNew York State NewsMore>>

  • NJ, NY officials meet about security

    NJ, NY officials meet about security

    Monday, September 15 2014 5:50 PM EDT2014-09-15 21:50:11 GMT
    With new concerns about home grown terrorism becoming more urgent, city and state officials -- including New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, and New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio -- met with Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson to devise new strategies. NYPD counterterrorism police stood watch outside the Midtown Manhattan meeting where city, state and federal law enforcement officials coordinated their new security plans.
    With new concerns about home grown terrorism becoming more urgent, city and state officials -- including New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, and New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio -- met with Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson to devise new strategies. NYPD counterterrorism police stood watch outside the Midtown Manhattan meeting where city, state and federal law enforcement officials coordinated their new security plans.
  • Cabs for women driven by women

    Cabs for women driven by women

    Monday, September 15 2014 3:14 PM EDT2014-09-15 19:14:45 GMT
    Taxis come in yellow, green, black, and now... hot pink? They're called SheTaxis and they are from a cab service for women by women. (The cabs aren't actually pink, but drivers will carry pink pashminas.)The service is coming to New York this week. You could almost think of it as an all-female Uber.
    Taxis come in yellow, green, black, and now... hot pink? They're called SheTaxis and they are from a cab service for women by women. (The cabs aren't actually pink, but drivers will carry pink pashminas.)The service is coming to New York this week. You could almost think of it as an all-female Uber.
  • Gillibrand: I don't know who made 'porky' comment

    Gillibrand: I don't know who made 'porky' comment

    Monday, September 15 2014 12:53 PM EDT2014-09-15 16:53:12 GMT
    Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, without naming any names, claims in a new book that male colleagues made off-color remarks about her appearance – with one even allegedly squeezing her stomach and telling her: “Don't lose too much weight now. I like my girls chubby.”  The 47-year-old Democratic New York senator discussed her new book, “Off the Sidelines,” in an interview with Good Day New York on Monday.
    Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, without naming any names, claims in a new book that male colleagues made off-color remarks about her appearance – with one even allegedly squeezing her stomach and telling her: “Don't lose too much weight now. I like my girls chubby.”  The 47-year-old Democratic New York senator discussed her new book, “Off the Sidelines,” in an interview with Good Day New York on Monday.
Powered by WorldNow

KSAZ-TV & KUTP
511 W. Adams St.
Phoenix, AZ 85003

Phone: (602) 257-1234
Fax: (602) 262-0177

Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | New Terms of Service What's new | Ad Choices