Financial News

  • 20 January 2014, 10:24

Silk Road: Millions In Bitcoins Forfeited

US prosecutors have announced the forfeiture of $28m (£17m) worth of Bitcoins seized from Silk Road, a hidden online marketplace that was used to shop for drugs and other illegal activities.

Preet Bharara, the US Attorney for the Southern District of New York, announced the forfeiture of 29,655 Bitcoins as well as the forfeiture of the Silk Road site.

It is the largest ever forfeiture involving the e-currency, a statement by Mr Bharara's office said.

Silk Road's owner and operator, Ross Ulbricht, was arrested in October in San Francisco after a federal investigation that started in 2011.

He has been charged with computer hacking conspiracy, narcotics trafficking conspiracy, and money laundering.

Ulbricht, allegedly known online as Dread Pirate Roberts, denies the charges.

Mr Bharara's statement said the Bitcoins were forfeited "because those assets allegedly were used to facilitate money laundering and constitute property involved in money laundering".

The website, dubbed the eBay of the drug trade, used a privacy-protecting Tor network and Bitcoins which allowed buyers and sellers around the world to shield their identities.

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