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| May 26, 2019

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Judge Delays Sentencing So Criminal Can Go on Vacation

May 23, 2019 |

What’s more important: starting a prison sentence for five crimes—including possession of drugs, a stun gun, and an extendable baton—or going on your planned vacation to the Canary Islands? One judge in Wales apparently thinks the latter. He agreed to delay 51-year-old Colin Watson’s sentencing until May 31…
Newser

TMZ

NFL’s Tyrone Crawford Hit with Criminal Charge After Insane Bar Brawl

May 14, 2019 |

Dallas Cowboys linebacker Tyrone Crawford is being prosecuted for that crazy bar fight at the Coyote Ugly Saloon — but shockingly, he’s not being charged with assault.  Remember, we posted footage showing the Cowboys defensive team captain…

TMZ.com

Satoshi Nakamoto Could Be Criminal Mastermind Paul Le Roux

May 13, 2019 |

Satoshi Nakamoto Could Be Criminal Mastermind Paul Le Roux

One of the most enduring mysteries of modern times has produced another enthralling twist. Satoshi Nakamoto, Bitcoin’s pseudonymous and enigmatic creator, has not been seen online in more than eight years. Evidence has now surfaced that points to a new Satoshi candidate, whose known life has a number of parallels with that of Bitcoin’s inventor. His name is Paul Le Roux and, if proven to be Satoshi, there is a good reason why his 1 million BTC hasn’t moved – the Rhodesian has been in jail since 2012.

Also read: Blockchain Researchers Mock Craig Wright’s Unsealed Bitcoin Address List

Craig Wright, Paul Le Roux, and the Badly Redacted Document

The Kleiman v. Wright lawsuit unfolding in the Florida courts has been filled with misdirection, red herrings, mistruths, forgeries, and bizarre theories, often floated by the defendant Craig Wright. Document 187, “Dr. Craig Wright’s Motion For Protective Order,” was recently filed with heavy redaction because Wright supposedly “has a well-founded fear that these criminals and their associates would seek retribution if they learned of his involvement in their apprehension and incarceration.”

Satoshi Nakamoto Could Be Criminal Mastermind Paul Le Roux
The unredacted footnote from document 187

Someone forgot to redact one of the corresponding footnotes, however, enabling a sharp-eyed sleuth to identify the master criminal in question: Paul Le Roux. The 46-year-old cartel boss is a character as flamboyant as Wright himself, but cut from a very different cloth. Readers may already be familiar with Le Roux’s life story, which surfaced in a seven-part series on Atavist and subsequent book titled “The Mastermind.” As the blurb summarizes:

He was a brilliant programmer and a vicious cartel boss, who became a prized U.S. government asset.

It has now been suggested that Paul Le Roux may be Satoshi Nakamoto – and that Craig Wright is in possession of encrypted hard drives containing Le Roux’s multi-billion-dollar stash of bitcoins. It’s a crazy theory, and yet, on closer inspection, there is a prima facie case for Bitcoin’s mastermind being criminal mastermind Le Roux.

Satoshi Nakamoto Could Be Criminal Mastermind Paul Le Roux
A young Le Roux.

Paul Le Roux Built a Criminal Empire – But Did He Also Build Bitcoin?

As his Wikipedia page – the very same page which escaped redaction in the Kleiman v. Wright case – notes, “Paul Calder Le Roux is a former programmer, former criminal cartel boss and informant to the US Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA). He created E4M, an open-source free Windows disk encryption software program, in 1999, and is a suspected creator of the open-source TrueCrypt, which is based on E4M’s code.”

Then it drops a bomb: “Le Roux is currently in US custody for ordering the assassinations of six people.”

If any screenwriters mulling a Satoshi Nakamoto movie are searching for inspiration, they just got a huge shot of it. With a career that’s included logging, precious metals mining, gold smuggling, land deals, drug shipments, arms trafficking and money laundering, Le Roux is a one-man movie waiting to happen – and that’s before the Bitcoin connection is thrown into the mix. In one of the many passports Le Roux owned, he goes by the Satoshi-like name of “Solotshi” – and that’s just the beginning of the curious coincidences.

A Daily Mail article which also slipped through the redactor’s net, leaving a trace of the URL visible in document 187 cited at the outset, calls Le Roux a “real-life Bond villain behind a cocaine and gun empire spanning four continents who’s now turned super-snitch” and quotes U.S. agents as calling him “a very bad guy.”

Satoshi Nakamoto Could Be Criminal Mastermind Paul Le Roux
“Solotshi” Le Roux.

Satoshi and Solotshi

As the anon who posted on 4chan’s /biz/ messageboard on May 12, after spotting Le Roux’s name in the Wright case postulated, “Bitcoin was a project of a evil genius … Paul Solotshi Calder Le Roux. He intended it simply for the purpose of money laundering … Unfortunately, soon after he went quiet with the Satoshi identity, he was captured by law enforcement, and he’s going to spend the rest of his life rotting in jail cell.”

Even if Le Roux did create Bitcoin, it does not follow that money laundering was his goal: it would likelier have been an extension of his obsession with cryptography, which can be traced back to the 90s. Before Paul Le Roux broke bad, he was by all accounts a brilliant programmer and privacy ideologue. In 1997, he began work on E4M (Encryption for the Masses), software which “is capable of encrypting entire disks, and optionally of plausible deniability (denying the existence of an encrypted volume),” Wikipedia explains. It continues:

In the “Politics” section of the E4M website [archive], Le Roux published a kind of manifesto stating that governments are increasingly relying on electronic data gathering. Citing projects such as Echelon, linked to the five nation states which would become known as the “Five Eyes” more than a decade later, he stated that encryption is the only way to preserve civil liberties.

The E4M manifesto finishes: “Strong Encryption is the mechanism with which to combat these intrusions, preserve your rights, and guarantee your freedoms into the information age and beyond – Paul Le Roux, Author, Encryption for the Masses.”

Satoshi Nakamoto Could Be Criminal Mastermind Paul Le Roux

10 Clues That Point to Le Roux Building Bitcoin

For those intent on comparing Satoshi and Le Roux’s personas for similarities, there are several attributes and actions that align – plus a few that don’t. Given that both entities were adept at assuming false personas and concealing their natural language and idiosyncrasies, identification is no easy task. Here’s what’s known about the pair that points to them being the same person:

  1. The curious Satoshi/Solotshi monikers.
  2. Both were programmers familiar with C++.
  3. Both had a strong interest in cryptography and privacy.
  4. Both were wary of authority.
  5. Both had an interest in online gambling – Bitcoin’s initial code had a poker client included.
  6. Both were well aware of the difficulty with traditional payment systems, Le Roux on account of the illegal prescription drug racket he was running.
  7. Satoshi’s spelling and language – “analyse, colour, defence, bloody, hard” is consistent with Rhodesian Le Roux’s.
  8. Satoshi disappeared in early 2011 to “move on to other things” around the time that Le Roux was transitioning from software genius to cartel boss.
  9. With tens of millions of dollars in cash, Le Roux would have had no need to cash out his BTC once the price began rising.
  10. If anyone could have hidden wallets containing 1 million BTC, it would have been the creator of disk encryption software TrueCrypt.

And then there’s this post from 2002, seven years before Bitcoin was released:

Satoshi Nakamoto Could Be Criminal Mastermind Paul Le Roux

It doesn’t read like Satoshi’s voice, but it does read an awfully lot like someone’s early idea of Bitcoin. The IP address of the author has supposedly been traced to the Netherlands – a country where Le Roux once lived.

For all of the surface evidence that suggests Le Roux could have been Satoshi, not all of the points align. In 2009, for example, when Satoshi was diligently refining Bitcoin, Le Roux was already dabbling in drug smuggling and gun running. Would it have been possible to maintain such a double life, one chaotic and the other scholarly?

Satoshi Nakamoto Could Be Criminal Mastermind Paul Le Roux
Some of the $ 100M of cocaine seized from a shipment that Le Roux sent by boat

A Credible Satoshi or 4D Chess From Craig Wright?

In an IRC chat dating from around the time of the Bitcoin Cash ABC/SV split, user “CSW” (Craig Wright) connects Bitcointalk and r/Bitcoin moderator Theymos to Paul Le Roux, claiming that the pair used to be partners “before Le Roux was arrested”. He also asserts that Theymos is still in the “pharma spam business,” which dovetails with Le Roux’s illegal pharmaceutical business.

Satoshi Nakamoto Could Be Criminal Mastermind Paul Le Roux

There is a caveat to all of this, of course: Craig Wright is a habitual liar, whose every utterance must be fact-checked. Given that Le Roux’s name has been linked with Satoshi since late 2018, it is possible that Wright latched onto it, and wove it into the fanfic he’s been crafting for the Kleiman case. As such, any evidence from the mouth of the man known as Faketoshi should be treated with caution. Few, aside from Calvin Ayre, believe that Craig Wright created Bitcoin, but many believe that by luck or design he could have been lurking in the background from near the start.

Satoshi Nakamoto Could Be Criminal Mastermind Paul Le Roux
A December 2018 4chan post suggesting Le Roux is Satoshi

Could this involvement have been due to Wright serving as an informant on Le Roux, himself now an informant following his arrest in September 2012? It sounds fanciful, but it’s certainly an intriguing notion. As one anon theorized, “Craig Wright was an employee of Le Roux, who was vaguely aware of the bitcoin project. Craig was an informant who helped bring down Le Roux, and after his arrest, Craig managed (via long time friend and partner in crime, Dave Kleiman) to get his hands on the wallets that hold a million bitcoins, but unfortunately for Craig, all of Solotshi’s coins are locked away in secure TrueCrypt volumes (TrueCrypt being another software that Le Roux developed). He has been trying for years to crack them but with no success.”

“Another of Craig’s long time friends, Calvin Ayre, has set up warehouses of computers to try to crack Solotshi’s password and unlock the vast fortunes; his mining activity is simply a front to make these massive datacenters look legitimate. Craig is being set up as ‘the real satoshi’ so that when the coins are finally unlocked, they can legitimately sell them off.”

Satoshi Nakamoto Could Be Criminal Mastermind Paul Le Roux
In this document from the Kleiman v. Wright case, Wright claims to have access to Truecrypt files that he cannot access. It has been speculated that these are not Dave’s, but rather Paul Le Roux’s.

If the Rhodesian crime boss is Satoshi Nakamoto, it means that the two biggest contributors to Bitcoin’s early success, Paul Le Roux and Ross Ulbricht, are both in the custody of U.S. authorities. There they will likely see out the rest of their lives, while the rest of the world profits from the innovations of these flawed geniuses. Interestingly, in little more than 24 hours, Gotsatoshi.com promises to reveal the identity of Bitcoin’s creator. While the cryptosphere will not be holding its breath in anticipation, the countdown adds further intrigue to the most enduring mystery of the digital age.

Satoshi Nakamoto Could Be Criminal Mastermind Paul Le Roux

What are your thoughts on the Paul Le Roux and Satoshi connection? Let us know in the comments section below.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock.


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The post Satoshi Nakamoto Could Be Criminal Mastermind Paul Le Roux appeared first on Bitcoin News.

Bitcoin News

Schiff to Make Criminal Referral of Erik Prince

April 30, 2019 |

The chairman of the House intelligence committee is making a criminal referral to the Justice Department for the founder of the security firm Blackwater, with Adam Schiff alleging Erik Prince lied to his committee in 2017. Prince testified to the panel that a meeting in the Seychelles islands with a…
Newser

Justice Department opens criminal probe into Ford’s emissions certification

April 28, 2019 |

Ford Motor Co. said Friday that the Justice Department has opened a criminal investigation into its U.S. emissions certification process.

The automaker said in a regulatory filing that the “matter currently focuses on issues relating to road load estimations, including analytical modeling and coastdown…


L.A. Times – Business

TMZ

Jussie Smollett Criminal Case Dropped

March 26, 2019 |

Jussie Smollett will not be prosecuted for allegedly faking a racial attack, because all charges have been dropped!!! Jussie and his lawyers ran to court Tuesday morning in Chicago, where he was facing 16 felony counts of lying to police in the…

TMZ.com

U.S. criminal probe of Facebook is said to extend to grand jury

March 14, 2019 |

A Facebook Inc. investigation by the U.S. Justice Department has broadened to include a grand jury, according to a person familiar with the matter, signaling an escalation in the ongoing federal probes of the company’s data-sharing practices.

A federal grand jury in New York subpoenaed records…


L.A. Times – Business

U.S. Levels Criminal Charges Against China’s Huawei

January 29, 2019 |

The Trump administration unveiled a sweeping set of criminal charges against China’s Huawei Technologies in its latest salvo against the telecom giant just days before U.S.-China trade talks are set to resume.
WSJ.com: What’s News Asia

US Hits Huawei, CFO With Criminal Charges

January 29, 2019 |

The US Department of Justice unsealed a 13-count indictment against Chinese tech giant Huawei on Monday, including against two of its affiliates and its chief financial officer, the AP and Fox News report. The felony charges, which came in the form of two separate indictments—one a 10-count grand jury…
Newser

Huawei Targeted in Criminal Probe for Alleged Theft of Trade Secrets

January 18, 2019 |

American prosecutors are pursuing a criminal investigation of China’s Huawei Technologies for allegedly stealing trade secrets from U.S. business partners.
WSJ.com: What’s News Asia