US agent investigating Silk Road site admits to $800,000 Bitcoin theft

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The drama surrounding the Silk Road case continues, after another US federal agent has admitted to laundering hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of Bitcoin during the investigation.

Former secret service agent Shaun Bridges has pleaded guilty to Bitcoin theft, admitting to sending over $800,000 worth of the digital currency to his personal account while he was investigating the dark web drug trafficking site.

Silk Road was shut down in the autumn of 2013, having netted Bitcoin sales of over $200m of drugs and other illegal items during its two years of operations. The site’s founder, Ross Ulbricht, who went by the alias “Dread Pirate Roberts”, was sentenced to life imprisonment during a highly-publicised case.

But the investigation itself led to further illicit uses of Bitcoin.

Bridges is the second US federal agent to have fallen foul of Bitcoin theft temptation during the investigation, after former agent Carl Force pleaded guilty to this just two months ago.

Assistant attorney General Caldwell said in a statement that this showed the importance of holding wrongdoers accountable “no matter who they are”:

There is a bright line between enforcing the law and breaking it. Law enforcement officers who cross that line not only harm their immediate victims but also betray the public trust.

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