Silk Road Agent May Have Stolen More Bitcoin After Guilty Plea

A former Secret Service agent convicted of stealing bitcoins during the Silk Road investigation is suspected of stealing additional funds.

AccessTimeIconJul 1, 2016 at 5:16 p.m. UTC
Updated Sep 11, 2021 at 12:21 p.m. UTC

New documents unsealed in the ongoing case between the US government and a former Secret Service agent convicted of stealing bitcoins during the Silk Road investigation allege that additional thefts may have taken place.

Shaun Bridges was one of two former US federal agents accused of going rogue during the investigation of the Silk Road, the now-defunct dark market. At the time, the US government alleged that Bridges stole as much as $800,000 in bitcoin seized from the Silk Road.

Bridges plead guilty last summer to money laundering and wire fraud charges, and was sentenced to roughly six years in prison in December.

Yet according to the documents unsealed yesterday – an emergency motion for arrest filed in January and a search warrant granted in February – Bridges is believed to have stolen additional funds months after he was initially charged.

Prosecutors said that the government was investigating whether Bridges took “approximately $700,000” in bitcoin around 28th July of last year, followed by an additional theft of roughly $20,000 in bitcoin around 10th September. The latter theft allegedly occurred less than two months before Bridges' sentencing, and after he had already pled guilty.

Notably, the thefts allegedly took place after the Secret Service had been warned by prosecutors about Bridges’ continued access to those funds. However, the motion asserts that the Secret Service did not secure the funds, and only discovered the discrepancy when trying to return roughly 125 bitcoins seized from bitcoin exchange Bitstamp during its investigation into ex-DEA agent Carl Force IV.

The emergency motion states:

“Unfortunately, the US Secret Service did not do so and the funds were thereafter stolen, something the US Secret Service only discovered once it was ordered to pay a portion of the seizure back to the affected claims. The government is now investigating both of these thefts as well as whether there were other thefts of digital currency aside from these.”

Bridges was re-arrested in February following suspicions that he was attempting to flee the US. Court documents filed later that month by the US government suggested that Bridges was being investigated for additional bitcoin thefts.

Attorney Steve Levin of Levin & Curlett LLC, who is representing Bridges in the case, declined to comment when reached.

Image via Shutterstock


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