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Federal Agents Told This Silk Road Moderator to Fake His Own Death

December 9, 2018 |

Federal Agents Told This Silk Road Moderator to Fake His Own Death

A former administrator from the now-defunct Silk Road marketplace is recounting his story in a tell-all book and movie deal. After being arrested in 2013, darknet moderator Curtis Green was involved in a bizarre conspiracy with corrupt Silk Road investigators and was later told to fake his own death.

Also read: Tales From A Dead Man: Curtis Green on Silk Road, Ulbricht

A Kilo of Cocaine and Half a Million Dollars of BTC

Federal Agents Told This Silk Road Moderator to Fake His Own Death
Curtis Green.

The Silk Road marketplace, launched in Feb. 2011, was the first darknet market (DNM) that allowed the buying and selling of illicit narcotics. On Friday, a Salt Lake City media publication interviewed former Silk Road administrator Curtis Green about his involvement with the first DNM. Green says he can publicly discuss the subject now after selling his movie rights and publishing his book called The Silk Road Takedown. According to reports, Green’s memories and the Silk Road backstory has been turned into a Coen Brothers screenplay.

Green was involved in a shady conspiracy that complicated the Silk Road (SR) investigation because law enforcement faked his torture and had Green pretend he was dead for a year. Before his arrest, Green worked as a salaried administrator making thousands of bitcoins in revenue by issuing accounts and passwords to SR users. When U.S. bureaucrats started talking about the darknet in Congress, several three-letter agencies began to search for the creator of the Silk Road, an anonymous figure called the Dread Pirate Roberts (DPR). According to Green, when law enforcement officials acquired his Utah address, someone sent a kilogram of cocaine to his house.

Federal Agents Told This Silk Road Moderator to Fake His Own Death

The former SR moderator said he didn’t know the cocaine was being delivered and unknowingly took the narcotics into his home. Not long after opening the package of powder, Green was arrested and told the police everything he knew about the darknet marketplace. Moreover, Green gave the investigators vendor passwords and credentials to major dealers selling wares on the market. A couple of days later, about $ 500,000 worth of BTC was stolen from SR vendors and staff due to Green’s leaked information handed to police.

“I feel terrible,” Green told KSL Broadcasting during his interview in Salt Lake City. “There’s terrible guilt — I really wish I hadn’t gone to the Silk Road.”

Federal Agents Told This Silk Road Moderator to Fake His Own Death

Fake Torture and a Phony Death Plot

Following the cocaine bust and stolen bitcoins, Green explained that U.S. law enforcement officials told him that DPR wanted the administrator “beat up.” So they decided to fake-torture Green and used a phony waterboarding technique to make it look like he was bruised and beaten. Green then claims the agents told him DPR wanted him dead and asked him and his wife to perform a fake death. Under instructions from federal agents, the former SR administrator and his wife created a bogus death photo using a can of red soup. Green says he pretended he was dead for close to a year and never left his house in Utah.

Federal Agents Told This Silk Road Moderator to Fake His Own Death

Green: ‘Bad Agents Were My Get-Out-of-Jail Card’

It was only after Ross Ulbricht was arrested in San Francisco that Green and the public found out about the two rogue special agents who stole BTC from the investigation. Federal Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) agent Carl Force and U.S. Secret Service veteran Shaun Bridges were convicted of stealing thousands of bitcoins from the case and are now in prison. According to testimony in court, back in April of 2013, the father of Carl Force passed away and Force decided to create an SR account called “Death from Above.” Following the new profile creation, the agent used the account to attempt to extort DPR. Force’s legal representation, criminal defense lawyer Ivan Bates, explained that during this time Force was drinking a lot and had significant mental health problems. Later Green plead guilty for the cocaine delivery, but was let off the hook by federal prosecutors because he helped law enforcement officials and because of the part he played in the Bridges and Force scandal.     

“Two people that are deceitful criminals and here they were part of the government,” Green opined during his interview. The former SR administrator continued:   

The bad agents were my get-out-of-jail card, to be honest — They put me through a year’s worth of — ‘hell’ is not even a term befitting what they did.

Meanwhile, Ross Ulbricht is serving a double life sentence for his involvement with the darknet market and his family continues to fight for his freedom. The blatant corruption involved with the Silk Road investigation gives the Ulbricht family reason to believe the whole case was rife with manipulation.

Federal Agents Told This Silk Road Moderator to Fake His Own Death

The Ulbrichts have also created a petition to U.S. president Donald Trump asking for Ross to receive clemency. So far the document has garnered over 100,000 signatures. Green says his life will go on and emphasized to the Salt Lake City media publication that he “can’t go back and change it.” The former darknet administrator added: “All I can do is apologize, make sure I don’t make the same mistakes twice and move forward.”

What do you think about Curtis Green’s tale regarding U.S. investigators asking him to fake his own death? Let us know what you think about this story in the comments section below.

Images via Shutterstock, Twitter, and Pixabay.

Need to calculate your bitcoin holdings? Check our tools section.

The post Federal Agents Told This Silk Road Moderator to Fake His Own Death appeared first on Bitcoin News.

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Devoted Mom ‘Lost Everything’ on This Stretch of Road

December 9, 2018 |

A South Carolina mother “lost everything” Friday when three of her young children died in a car crash and a fourth was critically hurt, the Greenville News reports. “Those children were her strength. She lost everything,” says Crystal Griffith, a co-worker of Jackie Brown at Taco Bell and KFC in…


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December 5, 2018 |

ON TODAY’S SHOW Cardi B & Offset: The Shocking Breakup Kim Kardashian: Absolutely Swarmed By Fans Jessica Simpson Calls Out Natalie Portman Justin Bieber & Hailey Baldwin Get Cute

Silk Road Fake Murder Mystery May Be Solved

November 25, 2018 |

Rather than round up a series of stories from the deep web, this week we’re focusing on just the one. The tale, concerning Silk Road’s most enduring mystery, is so labyrinthine it warrants recounting in full.

Also read: 5 Opsec Errors That Caused Cryptocurrency Users to Lose Everything

‘Redandwhite’ Indicted in Black and White

Silk Road Fake Murder Mystery May Be Solved
Ross Ulbricht

Silk Road is a saga that just won’t end. Every few months, a new prosecution or a trove of freshly discovered clues adds further intrigue to the deep web’s most notorious drugs marketplace. Despite the conviction of Ross Ulbricht in 2015, there remains a number of questions concerning his stewardship of Silk Road. One of the most puzzling pertains to the murder for hire charges that Ulbricht was indicted for, despite evidence showing that no assassinations were ever carried out. The arrest of James Ellingson, 42, by Canadian authorities last month, however, has shed some light on the matter.

If the allegations are proven true, Ulbricht was duped and defrauded multiple times by Ellingson, who operated under several pseudonyms on the Silk Road marketplace. While numerous opsec errors Ulbricht made would likely have led to his arrest anyway, Ellingson, or ‘redandwhite’ to use one of his personas, played a pivotal role in consigning Ulbricht to life behind bars and ruining Silk Road for the thousands of buyers and sellers who had conducted business with minimal friction up until then.

One Man With a Multitude of Handles

Silk Road Fake Murder Mystery May Be SolvedIn 2013, redandwhite contacted Dread Pirate Roberts (DPR), as Ulbricht was known, offering to solve a problem with another user, Lucydrop. Lucydrop was blackmailing DPR by threatening to release compromising information on thousands of Silk Road vendors. Ulbricht consented to redandwhite murdering Lucydrop, by which point DPR had information that would lead to redandwhite’s arrest years later. As Canadian court documents released earlier this month explained, “Redandwhite communicated with and received bitcoin payments from Mr. Ulbricht, in connection with purported attempts to begin selling narcotics on the Silk Road. A laptop recovered from Mr. Ulbricht contained a file labelled “save_red,” which housed multiple photographs referenced in the communications.” They continued:

The photographs were sent by redandwhite and consisted of packaged drugs and Canadian currency. Some of the photographs showed a man in front of a building holding an envelope with a numerical code. Based on a comparative analysis with Mr. Ellingson’s driver’s license, authorities have identified him as the person in the photograph.

Silk Road Fake Murder Mystery May Be SolvedThe most astonishing revelation to have emerged from the case is that Ellingson appears to have been the cause of and purported solution to DPR’s problems, donning many different hats to extort DPR multiple times over. As All Things Vice blog summarizes, “DPR had apparently paid bitcoin worth around $ 650,000 … to a slick-talking shyster and opened himself up to charges of conspiracy to commit five new murders that had never taken place. Tony76 [one of redandwhite’s previous Silk Road accounts] first robbed hundreds of Silk Road customers to the tune of six figures in April 2012, scammed them again for a similar amount under the name Lucydrop in 2013, then attempted to blackmail Dread Pirate Roberts with customers’ addresses he had gathered while selling as Tony76 and Lucydrop. When that failed, he extracted the money out of Silk Road by pretending to be a hitman, carrying out the murders of himself and his alter egos.

Given the level of deception he was up against, both from Ellingson and from law enforcement, whose chief investigating officers committed a litany of crimes including blackmail and extortion, Ross Ulbricht never stood a chance. A few bad apples from the criminal and law enforcement fraternities were all it took to seal Ulbricht’s fate.

What are your thoughts on Ross Ulbricht’s conviction and on this latest twist in the Silk Road saga? Let us know in the comments section below.

Images courtesy of Shutterstock.

Need to calculate your bitcoin holdings? Check our tools section.

The post Silk Road Fake Murder Mystery May Be Solved appeared first on Bitcoin News.

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November 5, 2018 |

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Silk Road Operator Libertas Pleads Guilty, Seeks Plea Deal

October 28, 2018 |

Gary Davis, an Irishman who was extradited to the United States in July to face charges for his suspected involvement in the operations of Silk Road, has reportedly begun discusssing a plea bargain with prosecutors. Davis, who was known as ‘Libertas’ on Silk Road, has pled guilty to conspiring to distribute narcotics – a charge resulting from roles as a Silk Road administrator.

Also Read: Markets Update: Tranquil Markets Presage a Storm Brewing

Silk Road Administrator Libertas Pleads Guilty

Silk Road Operator Libertas Pleads Guilty, Seeks Plea DealEarlier this month, Geoffrey S. Berman, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, announced that Davis had pled guilty to “conspiring to distribute massive quantities of narcotics,” a charge which carries a maximum sentence of 20 years stemming from his role as “a member of the small administrative staff” tasked with operating Silk Road during 2013.

Authorities claim that Davis received weekly remittances from Ulbricht exceeding $ 1,000 during 2013 in exchange for his work as part of a three-man team that is believed to have operated the anonymous market on behalf of its founder, Ross Ulbricht. Davis served as a forum moderator from May 2013 up to June 2013 for Silk Road, and as a site administrator from June 2013 up until Oct. 2, 2013.

Davis is currently scheduled to be sentenced on Jan. 17, 2019.

Silk Road Responsibilities

Silk Road Operator Libertas Pleads Guilty, Seeks Plea DealCourt documents state that as a forum moderator, Davis had been responsible for, among other things, “monitoring user activity on discussion forums associated with the site, providing guidance to forum users concerning how to conduct business on Silk Road, and reporting any significant problems discussed on the forums to the site administrators and to Ulbricht.”

As a site administrator, Davis was later tasked with, “monitoring user activity on Silk Road for problems, responding to customer service inquiries, and resolving disputes between buyers and vendors.”

Berman emphasized his belief that Davis’ arrest evidences that the activities of dark web users are not beyond reproach from authorities, stating: “Silk Road was a secret online marketplace for illegal drugs, hacking services, and a whole host of other criminal activity. As he admitted today, Gary Davis served as an administrator who helped run the Silk Road marketplace. Davis’s arrest, extradition from Ireland, and conviction should send a clear message: the purported anonymity of the dark web is not a protective shield from prosecution.”

The case is being prosecuted by the Complex Frauds and Cybercrime Unit of the United States Attorney’s Office. Assistant United States Attorneys Michael D. Neff, Eun Young Choi, and Timothy Howard are in charge of the prosecution.

Are you surprised by the news that Libertas is seeking a plea deal? Share your thoughts in the comments section below!

Images courtesy of Shutterstock

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The post Silk Road Operator Libertas Pleads Guilty, Seeks Plea Deal appeared first on Bitcoin News.

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Happy Ending for Kitten Found Glued to Road

October 24, 2018 |

There’s no more appropriate name for Chuck Hawley’s new kitten than “Sticky.” The tiny furball, thought to be no more than 8 weeks old, was stuck in the middle of a road, covered in glue, when Oregon’s Hawley spotted it while traveling from Silverton to Salem around 7am Friday. As…

Silk Road Questions Unanswered as Ulbricht Gathers 60K Clemency Signatures

August 13, 2018 |

Silk Road Questions Unanswered As Ulbricht Gathers 60K Clemency Signatures

Ross Ulbricht was sentenced to life in prison back in 2015 for operating the Silk Road marketplace but many people believe he should be set free. The Ulbricht family, aided by his new Twitter account @RealRossU, has managed to gather close to 60,000 signatures in a petition for his clemency. Meanwhile, many questions surrounding the government’s Silk Road investigation and the sale of Ulbricht’s bitcoins.

Also read: Coingeek Speaks on Consensus Changes and Next-Gen ASIC Chip

The Many Unanswered Silk Road Questions Suppressed by the US Government

Ross Ulbricht is serving a life prison sentence for operating the illicit drug marketplace called the Silk Road (SR). Many people believe the entire Ulbricht investigation was an abomination of justice as there are many instances of law enforcement manipulation and government cover-ups throughout the SR investigation and Ulbricht’s trial. Moreover, the family has explained many times that much of the details surrounding the SR investigation and the government’s evidence remains a secret. One example is the public auctions of seized bitcoins back in 2014 that allegedly were taken from Ulbricht’s laptop. Most of the results of the auctions are unknown except for the statements stemming from some of the winners like Tim Draper. Only the auction winners were notified by the US Marshals and the public has no idea about the exact specifics of the auctions, except for what they were told by the media.

Silk Road Questions Unanswered As Ulbricht Gathers 60K Clemency Signatures
The bitcoin auction Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests have remained unanswered for over 4 years.

Because the auction was done by a government agency, specifically the US Marshals Service (USMS), the public has a right to know the exact specifics of these auctions. However, to this day, the USMS has not disclosed the results of the 2014 bitcoin auctions even though there have been multiple FOIA requests for the information. Essentially the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) says that any US citizen has the right to information and disclosures concerning financial transactions tied to government entities. This includes auctions tied to seized assets the USMS confiscates. In 2014 there were over 20 FOIA requests made to the USMS concerning the bitcoin auctions. According to the FOIA logs for 2014, nearly every request was answered throughout the entire list except for the FOIA requests for information concerning the bitcoin auctions. In fact, to this day the log shows each request remains unanswered except for one on August 22, 2014, that states the request was not reasonable. 

Silk Road Questions Unanswered As Ulbricht Gathers 60K Clemency Signatures

Ross Supporters Gather Close to 60,000 Signatures for His Clemency Petition

Over the past few weeks, support for Ulbricht has been huge since he started his own Twitter handle that posts with the aid of his family. The glaring law enforcement manipulation, the two rogue secret agents, and the unanswered questions regarding the sale of Ulbricht’s bitcoin stash paints a shady picture of so-called US justice. Which has, in turn, helped bolster support for Ulbricht’s cause even more so as many believe that his life sentence is completely unjust.

Silk Road Questions Unanswered As Ulbricht Gathers 60K Clemency Signatures

This week Ulbricht’s petition for clemency has garnered 59,077 signatures out of the 75,000 goal. In the petition, Ulbricht’s mother Lyn pleads with the public to help her fight for her son’s freedom and explains that the entire investigation and trial was a monstrosity.       

“Ross’s investigation, trial, and sentencing were rife with abuse — This includes corrupt federal investigators (now in prison) who were hidden from the jury, as well as prosecutorial misconduct, constitutional violations and reliance on unproven allegations at sentencing,” Lyn Ulbricht explains.

Ross did not get a fair trial and his sentence was draconian. Justice was not served.

What do you think about the many unanswered questions regarding the Ulbricht case and the bitcoin auctions? Do you think the government covered up certain elements of this case? Let us know what you think about this subject in the comment section below.

Images via Shutterstock, FOIA requests 2014, and Twitter. 

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