US: Confiscation of Stolen Bitcoins on the Silk Road and Time Estimated at US$3.4 Billion

(Belga) U.S. authorities announced Monday that they have confiscated bitcoins stolen from online drug-selling website Silk Road ten years ago, which were worth $3.4 billion at the time of the seizure in November 2021.

James Zhong, 32, pleaded guilty Friday to stealing more than 50,000 bitcoins in September 2012, the New York City Attorney’s Office said in a press release. The virtual currencies were discovered during a search of Mr. Zhong’s home in Georgia in November 2021. They were stored on devices hidden in a safe hidden under the floor and on a computer-generated single-card card disguised as a metal popcorn box under the duvets in the closet. According to prosecutors, Mr. Zhong scammed Silk Road in 2012 by creating nine different accounts and quickly making about 140 transactions to trick the site’s system into paying him about 50,000 bitcoins, which were in turn quickly transferred to others. addresses. Mr. Zhong faces 20 years in prison. He will be sentenced in February. The Silk Road website was created in January 2011 and was used to sell numerous illegal goods, including $200 million worth of drugs worldwide, before being shut down by the FBI in October 2013. Its creator, Ross Ulbricht, was sentenced in 2015 to life in prison. This is the second largest bitcoin seizure by the US Department of Justice after 94,000 bitcoins valued at $3.6 billion seized from a New York couple during the Virtual Bitfinex trading platform hack in 2016 (Belga).

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