Second agent takes plea deal in Silk Road misconduct case
No, this doesn't mean Ross Ulbricht is getting out of jail. Ever.
The agent accused of extorting Silk Road boss Ross Ulbricht out of his Bitcoins while investigating the case has agreed to a plea deal.
In a filing (PDF) to the San Francisco District Court, prosecutors said they had agreed to a plea deal with former DEA agent Carl Force on charges of obstruction of justice and "money laundering with predicate specified unlawful activities of both wire fraud and theft of government property."
Force, a DEA agent who worked on the Silk Road investigation, was accused of misconduct and the theft of at least $235,000 worth of bitcoin over the course of the investigation. He will enter his plea in a hearing set to take place on July.
The agent is accused of working to gather evidence against Ulbricht, including taking payments in the form of Bitcoins for information on the information.
Prosecutors said that rather than put the funds into an account controlled by the DEA, Force deposited the money to his personal account and reported that the transaction with Ulbricht never took place.
Force was also accused of using another account, dubbed "French Maid" to extract more Bitcoin from Ulbricht and place it into his personal account. A third incident, not involving Silk Road, had Force using both his DEA ties and his position at a digital currency exchange to freeze and then steal the holdings of another user.
A full copy of the allegations filed against Force can be found here (PDF).
Word of the Force deal comes on the heels of reports that another former agent, Shaun Bridges, had agreed to his own plea deal on charges related to the Silk Road case.
Ulbricht's defense tried to use the charges against Force and Bridges as evidence for a retrial, but the motion was denied. Ulbricht has since been given life in prison without parole. ®