Alleged Silk Road mastermind maintains innocence but says confiscated Bitcoins are his

By on December 26, 2013, 10:15 AM
fbi, bitcoins, silk road, ross ulbricht, silk road marketplace

Ross Ulbricht, the 29-year-old alleged mastermind behind the online drug marketplace Silk Road, still maintains his innocence. But those 173,000 Bitcoins the FBI confiscated as assets believed to have been used to facilitate money laundering and six failed murder-for-hire attempts… yeah, those are his and should be returned to him.

Ulbricht recently filed legal papers in a Manhattan federal court suggesting he has an interest as owner of the Bitcoins which are valued at $33.6 million as of writing. He believes the virtual currency isn’t subject to seizure under federal forfeiture laws and therefore should be returned to him.

It’s a very creative and cutting edge argument, according to white-collar lawyer and former Brooklyn assistant US attorney Daniel Wenner. It is possible that a judge could rule that Bitcoins aren’t considered property that can be seized in a criminal prosecution although Wenner said he would be stunned if a judge sided with Ulbricht.

Former federal prosecutor Jeffrey Alberts essentially echoed those sentiments, saying the alleged mastermind would have a tough time arguing his point because anything of value can be seized in a money-laundering case. Intellectual property and even domain names have been seized in the past so there’s no reason think Bitcoins wouldn’t qualify, he said.

Interestingly enough, he didn’t elaborate on how exactly he came into ownership of so many coins, but I digress. Either way, it classifies as the largest Bitcoin forfeiture in US history and it’ll be interesting to see how it all plays out in court.




User Comments: 13

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1 person liked this | SirGCal SirGCal said:

It really doesn't matter. He was a known contributor to the very obvious 'bad' site. He should rot, but that's just my opinion. I don't agree with the FBI overlord type of control, but I also don't agree with obvious law bypasses to help facilitate murder or drug use. In this case, IMHO, he can rot.

Guest said:

Basically you want to pay with taxes for his rotting.

SirGCal SirGCal said:

Basically you want to pay with taxes for his rotting.

How do I pay taxes for someone NOT getting their fake $ back from the FBI? Other then paying the basic FBI paycheck, how in the heck am I paying taxes for that?

Guest said:

Because you're paying in taxes for the jail he sits in, for the food he eats, and for the luxuries he maintains while locked up in "prison".

cliffordcooley cliffordcooley, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Not if the confiscated bitcoins after cashing in, pays for his prison stay.

Guest said:

But cliff you and I both know that won't happen. They'll either sit in an evidence locker or "disappear" bit by bit

cliffordcooley cliffordcooley, TechSpot Paladin, said:

^^^ LOL

I started to make the same comment about the evidence room.

ikesmasher said:

Cant believe im saying this, but guest is right.

Regardless of how irrelevant of his comment was.

Khanonate said:

But cliff you and I both know that won't happen. They'll either sit in an evidence locker or "disappear" bit by bit

Bitcoin "disappear" bit by bit? lol....

1 person liked this | SirGCal SirGCal said:

Because you're paying in taxes for the jail he sits in, for the food he eats, and for the luxuries he maintains while locked up in "prison".

The point is simple; that is irreverent of the point of the discussion. He's in jail plain and simple. Returning this currency to him doesn't change the tax we pay. And his arguments most likely won't stand anyhow as other items have been confiscated in the past as mentioned in the topic successfully. The whole point of this topic is his bitcoins and if he deserves them, not what we spend on keeping the criminal in jail.

Guest said:

I think we have just seen proof that too many drugs will make you DILLUSIONAL.

1 person liked this | ikesmasher said:

Something else I just realized...the constitution of the US guarantees the rights of life, liberty and property-when you commit crimes, you acknowledge the possibility to lose those rights.

captaincranky captaincranky, TechSpot Addict, said:

I think we have just seen proof that too many drugs will make you DILLUSIONAL.

WTF is, "DILLUSIONAL". Apparently, too much drug abuse turns you into the worst speller ever....:eek:

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