Prosecutors: Rogue Silk Road Agent Stole 1,600 BTC After 2015 Guilty Plea

New charges have been filed against a former Secret Service agent previously plead guilty stealing bitcoins during the Silk Road investigation.

AccessTimeIconAug 15, 2017 at 4:45 p.m. UTC
Updated Sep 13, 2021 at 6:50 a.m. UTC

New charges have been filed against a former Secret Service agent who previously pled guilty to stealing hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of bitcoin during the US government’s Silk Road investigation.

Shaun Bridges, as reported by CoinDesk, was sentenced to nearly six years in prison in late 2015 after pleading guilty to money laundering and wire fraud charges. The case dates back the investigation of the Silk Road, the now-defunct dark market that was the target of a multi-agency crackdown. Its creator, Ross Ulbricht, was arrested in 2013 and sentenced to life in prison two years later.

Bridges, along with another agent involved in the Silk Road investigation, was later arrested and charged after he allegedly went rogue during that period. The development was a controversial one at the time, given that information about it was withheld during Ulbricht's trial.

Yet after he plead guilty and was sentenced in 2015, Bridges was arrested in February 2016 as he tried to leave the US before beginning his prison term. The US government revealed in subsequent court filings that it believed Bridges stole additional Silk Road funds using private keys he obtained during the investigation.

According to new court documents filed yesterday, Bridges stole 1606.6488 BTC, an amount worth roughly $6.5 million at current prices. At the time of the alleged theft – in late July 2015, just after he had agreed to plead guilty – those holdings were worth around $470,000 given that bitcoin was trading at about $294.

After taking control of the funds, prosecutors have alleged, Bridges deposited them on BTC-e, the long-running bitcoin exchange that was shut down earlier this month following a crackdown by US authorities.

Court documents list 19 different bitcoin transactions, including one deposit of 605 BTC on bitcoin exchange Bitfinex in November 2015.

If convicted, Bridges could receive as many as 10 years in prison, as well as a $250,000 fine.

The full court filing can be found below:

1-main by CoinDesk on Scribd

Justice statue image via Shutterstock


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