Federal Agent Investigating Silk Road Pleads Guilty to Extortion and Money Laundering

Carl Mark Force had also inked a $240,000 movie deal about tracking down "Dread Pirate Roberts."


Via Debby Witt's Twitter feed comes word of the latest conviction related to the Silk Road. It's not a pretty picture:

Carl Mark Force, the head of a Baltimore-based team of law enforcement that investigated the Silk Road drug trafficking website, has pled guilty to extortion, money laundering, and obstruction of justice.

Standing before US District Judge Richard Seeborg in an orange inmate's jumpsuit, Force admitted that he stole from the Silk Road—and its founder Ross Ulbricht—even as he was investigating the website….

Acting as "Nob," the government-sanctioned account through which he interacted with Ulbricht's online persona Dread Pirate Roberts, Force took payments from Ulbricht that he didn't tell his superiors about and diverted the bitcoins into his personal accounts. Ulbricht was tried earlier this year and sentenced to life in prison in May.

He also created a second unauthorized account, "French Maid," from which he collected approximately $100,000 (£64,000) in bitcoins by offering "counter-intelligence" on law enforcement.

An attempt to extort money from DPR using a third account, "Death From Above," wasn't successful.

The government also charged Force with having multiple conflicts of interest, including a contract from 20th Century Fox to be paid up to $240,000 (£153,000) to tell his story for an upcoming movie. It isn't clear how much of that, if any, Force actually got paid. The contract was signed in 2014, and Force didn't reveal it to his superiors at the DEA.

Read more at Ars Technica.

Reason on Silk Road and its admitted founder, Ross Ulbricht.

In late May, Kurt Loder and Reason TV reported live from the sentencing of Ulbricht. Take a look: