Former Feds Busted for Boosting Bitcoins

Ex-DEA, Secret Service agents stole digital currency during Silk Road probe: report
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 30, 2015 1:56 PM CDT
Former Feds Busted for Boosting Bitcoins
This April 3, 2013, file photo shows bitcoin tokens in Sandy, Utah.   (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer, File)

What do you do if you're a federal agent who's part of an undercover operation to bust up a booming black-market drug-dealing website? One thing you don't usually do is skim a goodly portion of said site's digital currency into your pockets, but two former federal agents are accused of doing just that during their investigations that eventually led to the 2013 Silk Road sting, USA Today reports. Ex-DEA agent Carl Force and ex-Secret Service agent Shaun Bridges were charged with wire fraud and money laundering in a complaint unsealed today, the New York Times reports. The document for the recent bitcoin probe mentions that both agents were part of a Baltimore-based task force that ended up securing an indictment for Silk Road's "Dread Pirate Roberts," aka Ross Ulbricht.

Force, a 15-year DEA veteran who resigned in 2014 when his alleged actions came to light, "stole and converted to his own personal use a sizable amount of bitcoins," the complaint notes, per the Times; he allegedly did so by fabricating online personas, adds USA Today. Bridges allegedly took $800,000 of the investigation's bitcoin under his jurisdiction, dumped it into a Mt. Gox account, then withdrew the funds from the Japanese currency exchange right before he went after the exchange with a seizure warrant; he had been with the Secret Service as a special agent for six years before resigning on March 18. Meanwhile, 25-year-old BitInstant co-founder Charlie Shrem became the first bitcoin felon to report to prison, starting his two-year sentence today at Pennsylvania's USP Lewisburg facility, Fortune notes. (More bitcoin stories.)

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