Silk Road Bitcoin Theft. The United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York announced convictions for individuals who plead guilty to wire fraud charges related to the theft of Bitcoin from the online black market Silk Road in 2012.
The US Department of Justice announced James Zhong was sentenced to one year and one day in prison on charges of running a scheme to steal more than 51,680 Bitcoin (BTC), on Friday (14/4/2023). Zhong pleaded guilty to the charges in November 2022 and is awaiting sentencing.
“Cyber-criminals should heed this message: we will follow the money and hold you accountable, no matter how sophisticated your scheme and no matter how long it takes,” said US Attorney Damian Williams.
Silk Road Bitcoin Theft. According to Williams, Zhong stole BTC in 2012 and managed to hide his crimes for approximately 10 years before facing prosecution.
US authorities seized Bitcoin holdings from Zhong’s home in the state of Georgia in November 2021, finding most of the crypto in floor vaults and computers hidden inside popcorn cans. The cryptocurrency was valued at around 3.4 billion US dollars at the time.
The Silk Road black market, which had not functioned for approximately 10 years, allowed users to buy and sell prohibited items such as weapons and stolen credit card information, drawing the attention of US authorities. The platform’s creator, Ross Ulbricht, was arrested for his role in 2013 and is currently serving life in prison without the possibility of parole.