Tuesday, March 31, 2015

DEA agent arrested for stealing Silk Road bitcoins also orchestrated murder-for-hire scheme

DEA agent arrested for stealing Silk Road bitcoins also orchestrated murder-for-hire scheme


The former undercover federal agent who was arrested on Friday for allegedly stealing bitcoins from the online black market Silk Road also helped orchestrate a fake assassination scheme allegedly carried out by Silk Road’s founder Ross Ulbricht, according to the agent’s deleted LinkedIn page.

Carl Mark Force IV, a 46-year-old former Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) officer, has been charged with wire fraud, theft of government property, and money laundering. He allegedly sold information about the government investigation and stole over $500,000 in bitcoins, the digital cryptocurrency, for himself during the federal investigation into Silk Road.

Shaun Bridges, a Secret Service agent who allegedly stole $800,000 in bitcoins from Silk Road, was also arrested.

“The fact that Ross’ attorneys were not permitted to use this important information at trial was devastating to Ross’ defense,” mother Lyn Ulbricht told the Daily Dot. “These revelations of corruption cast doubt on the integrity of the entire investigation and the government’s case, including accusations of murder-for-hire, which we have always been certain were false.”

Force, who was central to the investigation of Ulbricht and Silk Road, played the single biggest role in the most damning charges leveled against Ulbricht: allegedly paying for the assassination and torture of a once-trusted confidant.

Force, by his own admission, was the Baltimore-based undercover agent who established and cultivated a 17-month covert relationship with Dread Pirate Roberts (DPR), the pseudonym Ulbricht is said to have used while operating Silk Road, that ended with Ulbricht being charged with murder for hire, an accusation he still has yet to face in court in Maryland. On Silk Road, one of Force’s psuedonyms was Nob.