Tuesday 6 December 2016

Silk Road creator jailed for life for enabling $200m of anonymous online drug sales using Bitcoin

Published 29/05/2015 | 23:25

Ross Ulbricht, who was jailed for life for charges including conspiracy to commit drug trafficking, money laundering and computer hacking.. REUTERS/Lyn Ulbricht/Handout via Reuters
Ross Ulbricht, who was jailed for life for charges including conspiracy to commit drug trafficking, money laundering and computer hacking.. REUTERS/Lyn Ulbricht/Handout via Reuters

The accused mastermind behind the underground website Silk Road has been sentenced to life in prison for orchestrating a scheme that enabled more than $200m of anonymous online drug sales using the digital currency bitcoin.

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Ross Ulbricht, 31, was sentenced by US District Judge Katherine Forrest in Manhattan, three months after a federal jury found him guilty of charges including conspiracy to commit drug trafficking, money laundering and computer hacking.

Forrest also ordered Ulbricht to forfeit $183.9 million.

Prosecutors were seeking a sentence "substantially above" the 20-year mandatory minimum that Judge Forrest must have imposed on Ulbricht, who admitted to creating Silk Road but denied wrongdoing.

Ulbricht is expected to appeal his conviction.

Silk Road operated for more than two years, allowing users to anonymously buy drugs and other illicit goods and generating over $214 million in sales in the process, prosecutors said.

The online black market was shutdown in October 2013, when authorities seized the website and arrested Ulbricht at a San Francisco website.

Lyn (L) and Kirk Ulbricht, parents of Silk Road founder Ross Ulbricht, who was jailed for life. AFP PHOTO/DON EMMERTDON EMMERT/AFP/Getty Images
Lyn (L) and Kirk Ulbricht, parents of Silk Road founder Ross Ulbricht, who was jailed for life. AFP PHOTO/DON EMMERTDON EMMERT/AFP/Getty Images

Reuters

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