JammedUp News

News

Former Federal Agents Involved In Silkroad Investigation, Arrested For Bitcoin Money Laundering And Wire Fraud

April 1, 2015  |  Posted by: JammedUp Staff
Former Federal Agents Involved In Silkroad Investigation, Arrested For Bitcoin Money Laundering And Wire Fraud

Are you in a legal jam? Find a Lawyer, Bail Bondsman or Private Investigator on JammedUp.

Two former federal agents involved in the investigation of Silkroad, the online drug marketplace are indicted for wire fraud, money laundering, and related offenses.

The agents are accused of stealing digital currency during the investigation of the underground black market that allowed users to conduct illegal transactions over the Internet.

The charges are part of a federal criminal complaint first issued on March 25, 2015, in the Northern District of California.

Former DEA Special Agent Carl Force, 46, and Special Agent Shaun W. Bridges, 32, with the U.S. Secret Service, both took part in the investigation of Silkroad.

According to federal investigators, Force worked as an undercover agent and established communications with the prime target of the investigation, Ross Ulbricht, aka “Dread Pirate Roberts,” the alleged founder of Silkroad.

However, Force is accused of creating phony online personas, which he used to take part in an elaborate scheme, involving Bitcoin transactions, aimed at stealing from the government and suspects targeted in the investigation.

In addition, the criminal complaint alleges Force of investing in and working for the digital currency exchange company while working for the DEA.

Investigators claim Force directed the company to freeze a customer’s account without any legal basis to do so and transferred the money from the customer’s account to his personal account.

Feds also charged the former special agent with selling information regarding the government’s probe to the suspects targeted in the Silkroad investigation.

After the government had frozen his account, Force sent a phony Department of Justice subpoena to an online payment service, which directed that it unfreeze his personal account.

Bridges allegedly diverted $800,000 in Bitcoin currency that he managed to obtain control of during the Silk Road investigation.

The complaint alleges that Bridges directed assets into an account of the now defunct Japanese digital currency Mt. Gox. He then allegedly wired the assets into his personal investment accounts in the United States. Bridges wired the funds just days before he requested a warrant to seize $2.1 million from Mt. Gox’s accounts.

Bridges appeared in front of Court Magistrate Judge Maria-Elena James of the Northern District on Monday. Federal agents placed Force under arrest on Friday, in Baltimore and appeared he in the District of Maryland federal court on Monday.

Force faces charges including wire fraud, theft of government property, money laundering and conflict of interest. Bridges faces wire fraud and money laundering charges.

Get the latest news from the world of crime