Federal officials accused of stealing over $1 million of bitcoin during Silk Road investigation

The US Department of Justice has lodged an official complaint accusing former agents Carl M Force IV and Shaun W Bridges of stealing over a million dollars’ worth of the bitcoin cryptocurrency during the investigation in to the dark web marketplace Silk Road in 2012 and 2013.

Who will guard the guards themselves?

Force, who worked for the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), and Bridges, who worked for the Secret Service, were both charged with money laundering and wire fraud on Monday. Force was also charged with stealing government property and conflict of interest.

According to the complaint, Force and Bridges “abused their positions as federal agents and engaged in a scheme to defraud a variety of third-parties, the public, and the government, all for their own financial enrichment.”

Underground identity ‘Nob’

The New York Times reports that Force used the underground identity ‘Nob’ to communicate with Silk Road admin ‘Dread Pirate Roberts’ – Ross Ulbricht – and extort currency in exchange for information.

Bridges is accused of stealing over $800,000 worth of bitcoin from Silk Road sellers, converting the currency to dollars via Tokyo-based bitcoin exchange Mt Gox.

After its demise, Silk Road was replaced by clone site Silk Road 2.0, which the FBI seized last November in a much-trumpeted operation to curb the online trade in illicit goods and services.

Earlier this month another dark web marketplace, Evolution, was pulled – this time apparently by its admins – much to the consternation of its users, who lost an estimated $12 million worth of bitcoin in the process.