Secret Service Silk Road Investigator Sentenced for Bitcoin Theft

Shaun W. Bridges of Laurel, Maryland is a former US secret service special agent recently sentenced to 24 months in prison. This follows after a guilty plea to one count of money laundering. Of which the crime took place while he was within the Silk Road Task Force. The group is a multi-agency effort investigating illegal activity on the Silk Road. The covert online marketplace for illicit goods would typically use bitcoins as a safe, untraceable alternative for regular currency and banking.

Silk Road Task Force

In 2015, Bridges was taken into custody on charges of theft of 1,600 bitcoin. The approximate worth of which is 10.4 million USD. The digital wallet he stole it from just happens to belong to the U.S. government, so needless to say, he was not going to get away with it. Since he is part of the Silk Road Task Force, he has private access key to the digital wallet. He then subsequently transferred the bitcoin to several other digital wallets at other bitcoin exchanges he had exclusive access to.

While at the task force, it was part of Bridges responsibility to locate, identify and prosecute targets who make transactions at the Silk Road. This includes Ross Ulbricht, aka “Dread Pirate Roberts” himself, who ran the exchange from North California. The FBI has not disclosed whether Bridges had any accomplices within the task force or if he acted alone.


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