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Special agents probing the Silk Road drug website allegedly helped themselves to Bitcoin

Two agents have been charged with stealing the online currency after Silk Road was seized by the FBI.

The FBI shut down the website in 2013
The FBI shut down the website in 2013
Image: Wikipedia

A FORMER US Secret Service agent is one of two federal agents charged with stealing digital currency during an investigation into Silk Road.

The now defunct online marketplace was shut down by the FBI for allowing users to buy and sell drugs and other illegal items.

As part of the seizure, the US federal government became of the the biggest owners of Bitcoin.

Charged

Two agents have now been charged with illegally taking some of that currency.

Shaun W Bridges of Laurel, Maryland, didn’t enter a plea in federal court in San Francisco. He has been charged with wire fraud and money laundering.

Bridges allegedly diverted over $800,000 in digital currency to his personal account after gaining control of the currency during the Silk Road investigation.

The complaint alleges that Bridges placed the assets into an account at Bitcoin Exchange Mt Gox, the now-defunct digital currency exchange in Japan.

He then allegedly wired funds into one of his personal investment accounts in the United States mere days before he sought a $2.1 million seizure warrant for Mt. Gox’s accounts.

Carl M Force of Baltimore, a former special agent with the Drug Enforcement Administration, also has been charged in the case. Force will be in court later.

Drug Website Shutdown An artist's rendering of Ross William Ulbricht's court appearance. Source: AP/Press Association Images

Force was tasked with establishing communications with Ross William Ulbricht, the owner of Silk Road.

In February, Ulbricht was convicted on seven drug and conspiracy charges alleging he created a multimillion-dollar marketplace for illegal drugs and other contraband on the Internet by adopting the alias Dread Pirate Roberts.

Force is charged with wire fraud, theft of government property, money laundering and conflict of interest.

- With reporting from Rónán Duffy

Read: The man behind the Silk Road drug website could spend the rest of his life in prison >

Read: These Trinity students think they may have solved the Bitcoin problem >

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Associated Press

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