US files notice to sell $130M in bitcoin linked to Silk Road agent

The United States filed a notice to sell over $130 million in bitcoin linked to the Silk Road forfeitures. 

The public notification lists two lots of bitcoin that the government plans to sell.The first is roughly 2,800 BTC for roughly $129 million. The second, smaller, lot would sell 58 BTC for about $3 million. 

The bitcoins are linked to Ryan Farace, who was sentenced in Maryland last year to 54 months in prison on a charge of money laundering conspiracy. 

Farace and his father, Joseph, were found guilty of laundering bitcoin initially used for drug trafficking that should have been forfeited to the US. Farace, initially convicted in 2018, claimed to not have access to bitcoin used for darknet transactions. 

However, he and his father were found to have conspired in an attempt to “transfer more than 2,874 Bitcoin to a third party, so that the funds could be moved into a foreign bank account.”

“According to their guilty pleas and other court documents, in November 2018, Ryan Farace was convicted in U.S. District Court in Maryland for a scheme to manufacture and distribute [Xanax] in exchange for Bitcoin through sales on darknet marketplaces,” a Department of Justice press release said. 

The first lot of bitcoin was also tied to Shaun Bridges, a former Secret Service agent and part of the Baltimore Silk Road Task Force. 

Bridges was sentenced to a six-year prison term in 2015 in connection with the theft of BTC during the US government’s investigation of the Silk Road dark marketplace. 

“According to admissions made in connection with his guilty plea, Bridges admitted to using a private key to access a digital wallet belonging to the U.S. government, and subsequently transferring the bitcoin to other digital wallets at other bitcoin exchanges to which only he had access,” a Department of Justice press release said. 

Both Farace’s were ordered to forfeit their bitcoin, while Bridges agreed to “turn over the stolen bitcoin to US agents.”

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