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US Federal Agents Charged Over Bitcoin Fraud

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Two former federal agents have been charged with bitcoin money laundering, wire fraud and other offences, the US Justice Department said.

Former Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) agent Carl Force and ex-Secret Service agent Shaun Bridges were due to appear before a judge on Monday.

Both are accused of stealing the digital currency during the investigation into the black market website Silk Road.

he Justice Department said Force developed online personas and engaged in illegal activities including "complex Bitcoin transactions to steal from the government and the targets of the investigation".

Bridges, meanwhile, allegedly diverted to his personal account over $800,000 (£540,000) in digital currency that he controlled during the probe.

He then placed the assets into an account at the now-defunct digital currency exchange Mt Gox, according to a criminal complaint.

Force allegedly invested in and worked for a digital currency exchange company while still working for the DEA, the Justice Department said.

He directed the exchange to freeze a customer's account and had the funds transferred to his personal account, the complaint said.

Force, 46, was arrested in Baltimore on Friday, and Bridges, 32, self-surrendered on Monday.

Silk Road kingpin Ross Ulbricht was found guilty in February of running the multi-million dollar dark net drugs marketplace.

The 30-year-old, who prosecutors said ran the site under the username Dread Pirate Roberts, faces a possible life sentence after being convicted on all seven counts he faced.

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