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US authorities announce a conviction in connection with the theft of Bitcoin from the Silk Road

Published on

January 8, 2023
Read Time:2 Minute, 27 Second

The USA Lawyer's Workplace for the Southern District of New York has introduced that a person has pleaded responsible to prices of fraud associated to "illegitimate" Bitcoin switch from the Silk Highway market in 2012.

In a Nov. 7 announcement, the US Division of Justice said James Zhong pleaded responsible to referral prices of fraud associated to finishing up a scheme to steal round 50,676 Bitcoin (BTC) from Silk Highway. Authorities seized the bitcoin from Zhong's residence in Georgia in November 2021, at which level the crypto's whole worth was roughly $3.36 billion.

"James Zhong dedicated wire fraud over a decade in the past when he stole roughly 50,000 bitcoin from Silk Highway," US Lawyer Damian Williams mentioned. "For almost a decade, the whereabouts of this huge chunk of lacking bitcoin had remained a $3.3 billion thriller."

Williams cited "state-of-the-art cryptocurrency monitoring" and "good old style policing" in authorities' monitoring and restoration of the stolen BTC. IRS particular brokers searched Zhong's property and located greater than 50,491 BTC in a flooring protected and "on a single-board laptop buried beneath blankets in a popcorn can," along with one other hoard of greater than 11 BTC, $661,900 in money and 25 Casascius Cash value about 174 BTC.

"This case exhibits we can't cease following the cash, irrespective of how expertly hidden, even all the way down to a circuit board within the backside of a popcorn can."

In accordance with the Justice Division, Zhong's plan included organising 9 accounts on {the marketplace} to disguise his identification and triggering greater than 140 transactions in a brief period of time "to trick Silk Highway's withdrawal processing system" to ship the BTC. He was in a position to arrange the accounts with "the naked minimal of data" and did no listings or gross sales. After withdrawing extra BTC than he deposited, Zhong eliminated Silk Highway's funds and "consolidated them into two high-value quantities."

"For instance, on September 19, 2012, Zhong deposited 500 bitcoins right into a Silk Highway pockets," the Justice Division mentioned. “Lower than 5 seconds after making the primary deposit, Zhong made 5 withdrawals of 500 bitcoin in fast succession – i.e. throughout the identical second – leading to a internet revenue of two,000 bitcoin.”

Associated: US Division of Justice seizes $3.6 billion value of crypto and arrests two in reference to 2016 Bitfinex hack

Silk Highway, which has been defunct for nearly a decade, initially allowed customers to purchase and promote unlawful items similar to weapons and stolen bank card data. Nonetheless, {the marketplace} caught the FBI's consideration as a result of many listings contained unlawful medicine.

Silk Highway creator Ross Ulbricht was arrested for his function in 2013 and is presently serving two life sentences with no chance of parole. Zhong faces as much as 20 years in jail for wire fraud. He's anticipated to be sentenced in February 2023.

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Azeez Mustafa
Azeez began his FinTech career path in 2008 after growing interest and intrigue about market wizards and how they managed to become victorious on the battlefield of the financial world. After a decade of learning, reading and training the ins and outs of the industry, he’s now a sought after trading professional, technical/currency analyst and funds manager – as well as an author.
Last Updated : January 8, 2023
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