Dread Pirate Roberts to forfeit his Bitcoin bounty to the Feds 

Dread Pirate Roberts to forfeit his Bitcoin bounty to the Feds 

April 28, 2022 Off By Mags Smith

Dread Pirate Roberts AKA Ross Ulbricht has been ordered to forfeit nearly 30,000 Bitcoins by Federal prosecutors for his involvement in the infamous Silk Road website, which itself was also forfeited.  

This is the largest ever seizure involving digital assets to date. However, this is just a drop in the proverbial Bitcoin bucket as the US government has recovered 144,336 Bitcoins stolen from Silk Road, by an unnamed hacker referred to only as ‘Individual X’ in court documents. Although the price of Bitcoin is rather volatile currently the total amount in Bitcoin would be around $5 Billion. 

In response Ulbricht has sued seeking the return of the 144,336 bitcoins seized from his computers, and that action is still pending in federal court in New York.    

Ulbricht was convicted of conspiracy to commit money laundering, conspiracy to commit computer hacking, conspiracy to traffic fraudulent identity documents, and conspiracy to traffic narcotics by means of the internet. It was also alleged that Ulbricht had paid $730,000 to a hitman to target various individuals, that allegedly threatened to reveal his involvement in Silk Road. Although he was not charged, the allegations that Ulbricht had commissioned murders was considered by the judge in sentencing Ulbricht to a double life sentence plus forty years without the possibility of parole.  

Described as the most “sophisticated and extensive criminal marketplace on the Internet”, Silk Road connected drug dealers to users where they could transact without interference from law enforcement. The sites currency of choice was Bitcoin, which was also used to purchase computer hacking services, forgeries and even hitmen in addition to drugs. 

Ulbright was connected to the Dread Pirate Roberts moniker by the IRS in 2013 by linking the “altoid” username used in the early days of Silk Road to a post in a forum that contained his personal email address which contained his full name.