A former US Secret Service agent has pleaded guilty to stealing $820,000 worth of bitcoin during the investigation into the Silk Road dark bazaar.
A six-year veteran of the US Secret Service, 32-year old Shaun Bridges was assigned to the agency's Electronic Crimes Task Force and worked on the Silk Road case for two years between 2012 and 2014.
In a plea agreement entered at the Northern District of California, Bridges admitted that in January 2013 he moved and stole 20,000 bitcoin, which at that time was worth approximately $350,000. The funds were transferred into an account at digital currency exchange Mt. Gox and liquidated four months later for a total of $820,000 in US currency.
“Mr. Bridges has now admitted that he brazenly stole $820,000 worth of digital currency while working as a US Secret Service special agent, a move that completely violated the public’s trust,” says US Attorney Haag. “We depend on those in federal law enforcement having the highest integrity and unshakeable honor, and Mr. Bridges has demonstrated that he utterly lacks those qualities.”
Bridges is one of two federal agents to face charges in connection with the investigation of Silk Road. Carl Force, 46, of Baltimore, pleaded guilty in July to a three-count charge of money laundering related to his theft of over $700,000 in digital currency while acting as an undercover agent on the Task Force.
Force is scheduled for sentencing in October, and Bridges in December.