Ex-Secret Service agent pleads guilty to Silk Road bitcoin theft

A former US Secret Service agent has pleaded guilty to stealing over half a million pounds worth of bitcoin (£521,000) during an investigation into Silk Road – the illegal marketplace that sold everything from drugs to weapons.

Agent Shaun Bridges was part of the US federal team that was tasked with investigating and shutting down Silk Road, which culminated in the arrest, trial and imprisonment of Ross Ulbricht, the founder of the marketplace.

In fact, as part of the investigation, Bridges took over an administrator account on the site, which he used to reset passwords and steal approximately 20,000 bitcoin from numerous wallets totalling $820,000.

He is the second agent to be involved in the theft after Carl Mark Force pleaded guilty in July.

Bridges pleaded guilty to counts of money laundering and obstruction of justice. He will be sentenced on 7th December this year.

He was caught despite his attempts to use his forensic investigating expertise to conceal the theft.

“There is a bright line between enforcing the law and breaking it.Law enforcement officers who cross that line not only harm their immediate victim but also betray the public trust,” said US assistant attorney general Leslie Caldwell in a statement.

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