Convicted Silk Road mastermind Ross Ulbricht is seeking a new trial. In a motion recently filed in New York federal court, Ulbricht’s legal team alleges the prosecution failed to disclose evidence in a timely fashion which ultimately influenced the outcome of the trial.
According to Joshua Dratel, Ulbricht’s lead attorney, evidence pointing to his client’s innocence was buried amid 5,000 pages of material that was handed over less than two weeks before the trial got under way.
The court filing by Dratel said this holdup of information denied Ulbricht his Fifth Amendment right to due process and a fair trial.
Dratel further argues that government agents conducted warrantless surveillance of the Tor network to find the Internet protocol for the Silk Road website. What’s more, Dratel said the defense should have been allowed to call Andreas Antonopoulos – an expert in the field digital currencies – to challenge whether the Bitcoins in Ulbricht’s possession came from Silk Road transactions.
While Ulbricht maintains that the Bitcoins were his, he said they weren’t from Silk Road profits but rather early investments in the cryptocurrency. It may sound far-fetched but it wouldn’t be the first time we’ve heard about an early investment generating a fortune for its lucky owner.
Ulbricht’s trial lasted about three weeks although jurors needed less than four hours to find him guilty on all seven charges. The court has until April to decide whether or not Ulbricht deserves another trial. If not, he will be sentenced on May 15 and is facing up to life in prison.