The US government believes that a former Secret Service agent convicted of stealing hundreds of thousands of dollars in bitcoin during the investigation of Silk Road may have been involved with additional thefts from the now-defunct online dark market.
Ex-Secret Service agent Shaun Bridges was sentenced to nearly six years in federal prison after pleading guilty last year to money laundering and obstruction charges tied to the theft of more than $800,000 in bitcoin from the Silk Road during the US government’s investigation.
Bridges was re-arrested in late January on suspicion that he was going to attempt to flee the country. Since then, he has remained in the custody of the US Marshals Service, court records show.
Now, the government is saying that it thinks that Bridges may have been involved with other, previously undisclosed thefts from the Silk Road, which was shuttered in late 2013. The disclosure came as part of 17th February response to a request by Bridges for a hearing on his detention.
The filing states:
“…the US had recently become aware of additional thefts of bitcoins from Secret Service accounts, the facts of which led the government to believe that Bridges, working with others, was also involved in these thefts.”
Bridges is also seeking to unseal the search and seizure warrants used during his arrest in January, court documents show. The government wants to prevent that action, citing the existence of suspected co-conspirators of Bridges.
Disclosure of the warrants, the government said in a 22nd February court filing, “could jeopardize the new investigation by alerting additional targets of the investigation”.
The news marks the latest development in a case that has already seen high-profile twists and turns, including the revelation that a Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) agent committed improprieties when investigating Silk Road.
Convicted Silk Road creator Ross Ulbricht has separately launched an appeal, arguing that the government committed various abuses in conjunction with the investigation and trial.
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