US Government to Auction Off $117 Million in Silk Road Bitcoin – Blockonomi


The US Department of Justice recently filed notice that it plans to sell 2,933 Bitcoin seized from convicted Silk Road dealer Ryan Farace. The BTC is valued at around $117 million currently and will be auctioned off in the near future.

TLDR

Farace was previously convicted in 2018 for conspiracy to sell Xanax on dark web marketplaces like the infamous Silk Road under the handle “Xanaxman,” raking in over 9,000 Bitcoin from buyers. After forfeiting just 24 Bitcoin worth around $16 million at the time to authorities, Farace claimed while incarcerated that he no longer had access to his crypto funds.

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However, federal officials discovered that Farace was conspiring with his father Joseph to clandestinely transfer nearly 2,900 Bitcoin out of the country to an accomplice. The plot involved using an illegal cell phone to coordinate while Farace was in prison. Officials intercepted their communications and recovered the Bitcoin, which has ballooned to around $117 million in value today.

Both Faraces pleaded guilty to money laundering conspiracy charges. Ryan Farace was sentenced to over 4 additional years in federal prison, while his father received a 19-month sentence.

Some of the Bitcoin originated from former Secret Service agent Shaun Bridges, who abused his position on the Baltimore Silk Road Task Force to steal Bitcoin from the site’s administrators. Bridges was previously convicted in 2015 and agreed to forfeit the stolen crypto, estimated to be worth $800,000 at the time. That sum would be valued at over $36 million today.

With no other claims filed on the assets within the allotted 60-day period, the government now has full authority to sell off the combined stash of nearly 3,000 Bitcoin at auction. The liquidation could put further downward pressure on Bitcoin’s price, which has already declined substantially in recent weeks.

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The high-profile sale involves crypto originating from law enforcement corruption and Silk Road, once the internet’s largest dark web marketplace for illegal drugs and other illicit activity.

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Author: Oliver Dale


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