Ross Ulbricht lodges (another) appeal of Silk Road verdict and sentence

File under: 'good luck with that'

Dread Pirate Roberts

Convicted Silk Road boss Ross Ulbricht has launched a fresh appeal to have his case heard once more.

In a filing [PDF] to the US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, Ulbricht's lawyers argue that Ulbricht did not receive a fair trial, as key evidence from the case was omitted, and that Ulbricht was wrongly framed as the man behind the "Dread Pirate Roberts" persona.

According to the filing, Ulbricht's team was not allowed to argue points including questioning the validity of evidence provided by former DEA agent Carl Force, an alternative theory that MtGox boss Mark Karpeles was the real person behind DPR, and arguments from the defense questioning the validity of communications used as evidence in the case.

"In a case in which that lack of integrity of digital information, created and transmitted on an anonymous untraceable internet network, was of paramount importance, and in which the government did not produce a single witness to testify firsthand that Ulbricht authored any of the communications attributable to DPR, and which was permeated by corruption of two law enforcement agents participating in the investigation, the restrictions on cross-examination, and preclusion of expert witnesses offered to overcome those restrictions, eviscerated Ulbricht's defense and denied him a fair trial," Ulbricht's team argued.

Ulbricht's attorneys are asking that the case be retried and the sentence be re-considered by a different judge.

Convicted last year on a list of charges that included drug trafficking, money laundering, computer hacking and trafficking fraudulent documents, Ulbricht was later sentenced to life in prison.

While it remains to be seen whether this latest appeal gets serious consideration, history would suggest a slim chance for success.

Ulbricht has appealed the verdict previously, to no avail, and the claims of Karpeles as DPR and appeals against the evidence supplied by Force (who was later himself convicted for stealing and attempting to launder Bitcoin collected in the investigation) have been tossed out by the court on previous occasions. ®


Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2017