Thursday, February 23, 2023

Ross Ulbricht, founder of the Silk Road

He is jailed at USP Tucson.
The Silk Road was the first dark web marketplace, an online market for anonymously buying and selling illegal products and services with bitcoin. Ross Ulbricht created The Silk Road in 2011 and ran it until 2013 when the FBI shut him down. Ulbricht, 'Dread Pirate Roberts' was caught logged into the site from a public library. He was arrested and charged with money laundering, computer hacking, conspiracy to traffic narcotics, and attempted murder to silence those who threatened to unmask him. Ulbricht turned down a plea deal offering a 10-year sentence. He was convicted and handed five sentences, including two life sentences without parole, and fined $183m.
People bought and sold a wide range of goods and services on the Silk Road but by 2013 some 70% of the purchases were drugs. Ross Ulbricht is infamous as the internet’s first drug lord. Ulbricht's appeals to the U.S. Court of Appeals and the U.S Supreme Court in 2018 were unsuccessful.

In a twist, a hacker stole thousands of bitcoins from Silk Road and hid them away. It took cops years to find the perpetrator. In 2012, James Zhong exploited a flaw in the website's payment system. The 50,676 bitcoin seized was worth $3.36 billion at one point. Zhong pleaded guilty to one count of wire fraud, which carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison. He was scheduled to be sentenced on February 22, 2023.

See ----->DoJ announce $3.36b cryptocurrency seizure, conviction