Defense in Silk Road Trial Says Mt. Gox CEO Was the Real Dread Pirate Roberts

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The protection workforce for Ross ​Ulbricht, the 30-year-old man accused of working the on-line black market Silk Road beneath the pseudonym Dread Pirate Roberts, simply dropped an sudden new concept: Mark Karpeles, the CEO of failed Bitcoin firm Mt. Gox, is the actual Dread Pirate Roberts.

“We have the name of the real mastermind and it’s not Ulbricht,” Joshua Dratel, Ulbricht’s lawyer, stated in his opening assertion in the trial. It now appears clear that he plans to argue that Karpeles framed Ulbricht.

Karpeles has ​denied the allegation in an electronic mail to Motherboard: “I am not Dread Pirate Roberts … I have nothing to do with Silk Road and do not condone what’s happening there.”

The protection is clearly attempting to boost affordable doubt by implying that another person may have been answerable for the web site, which did greater than a billion {dollars} in underground commerce for medication, false IDs, and extra earlier than being shut down in October of 2013.

Dratel was cross-examining Jared DerYeghiayan, a homeland safety particular investigation agent who opened a case into Silk Road. DerYeghiayan now says he believes Ulbricht is the offender, however Dratel introduced proof that he as soon as had a special concept: again in 2012, DerYeghiayan was satisfied that Dread Pirate Roberts was Karpeles.

I’ve a wealth of proof to show that [Karpeles] is Dread Pirate Roberts

Karpeles, who’s from France, ran what was as soon as the world’s largest Bitcoin trade, Mt. Gox, which was primarily based in Tokyo. DerYeghiayan’s concept was that Karpeles needed to create a market that used Bitcoin in order to maintain the worth of the semi-anonymous cryptocurrency strong, which he believed was possible trigger for Karpeles’s arrest. (Mt. Gox went bankrupt in early 2014.)

“[Silk Road] would be a device for leveraging the value of Bitcoin, and if he could create a site independent of Bitcoin, you could control the value of Bitcoin,” Dratel stated, studying from DerYeghiayan’s emails.

DerYeghiayan believed his proof was so robust that he even drafted a search warrant for Karpeles’s electronic mail in May of 2013.

At the identical time, a parallel investigation had opened in Baltimore. DerYeghiayan informed these brokers to not contact Karpeles, for worry of spooking him too early. The Baltimore investigators did not hear, and as an alternative seized a web site run by Karpeles that had belongings of greater than $three million, in accordance with right this moment’s testimony.

When the Baltimore investigators requested Karpeles about Silk Road, his attorneys stated he would inform them the identify of the individual behind the web site. Correction: An earlier model of this story implied investigators spoke on to Karpeles; they really spoke to him via his attorneys.

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