Former Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) agent Carl Mark Force IV, has admitted to stealing over $700,000 worth of bitcoin while running the Baltimore Silk Road investigation.
Force, the lead undercover agent in communication with Ross Ulbricht – the mastermind behind the online drug marketplace now sentenced to life in prison – admitted using fake online personas to steal bitcoin from both the US government and investigated parties.
He pleaded guilty to charges of extortion, money laundering and obstruction of justice.
In connection to his plea, Force admitted he had offered to sell law enforcement information regarding the ongoing Silk Road investigation to Ulbricht. He also pleaded guilty to entering into a $240,000 contract with 20th Century Fox Film Studios for a film concerning the government’s investigation into the dark web marketplace, without obtaining prior approval from the DEA.
Assistant Attorney General Caldwell of the Justice Department's Criminal Division said in a statement:
Caldwell continued: "This guilty plea should send a strong message: neither the supposed anonymity of the dark web nor the use of virtual currency nor the misuse of a law enforcement badge will serve as a shield from the reach of the law."
Now awaiting sentencing, Force's hearing is scheduled for 19th October.
The full accusations against him are detailed in a federal complaint submitted in the Northern District of California in late March.
The leader in news and information on cryptocurrency, digital assets and the future of money, CoinDesk is a media outlet that strives for the highest journalistic standards and abides by a strict set of editorial policies. CoinDesk is an independent operating subsidiary of Digital Currency Group, which invests in cryptocurrencies and blockchain startups.