The Bitcoin Saga


#761

Some part of me enjoys the thought of the government trolling people like that.


#762

My only regret with bitcoin is that I was first given a link to an app to create coins when in IRC back when you could make several a day on my average PC with something running in the background when you weren’t using it.

At the time I dismissed the whole thing. Whether or not I would have been savvy enough to sell them at 1000 is a different matter.


#763

Dread Pirate Roberts…Life in prison


#764

Holy shit. They dropped the hammer on him.


#765

That seems rather draconian, considering they never even filed charges on the people he murdered or tried to murder or whatever.


#766

Parts of the sentencing memo are here: http://www.nytimes.com/2015/05/27/nyregion/long-sentence-sought-for-silk-road-creator-ross-ulbricht.html?utm_content=bufferfef92&utm_medium=social&utm_source=twitter.com&utm_campaign=buffer&_r=0

Mr. Ulbricht should receive a sentence that is “substantially above the mandatory minimum” of 20 years that Mr. Ulbricht faces for one of the seven counts on which he was convicted.

“Ulbricht bears responsibility for the overdoses, addictions and other foreseeable repercussions of the illegal drugs sold on Silk Road,” Mr. Bharara’s office wrote. “It does not matter that he did not personally handle those drugs; neither would a traditional kingpin.”

Mr. Ulbricht was convicted in February on seven counts, including distributing narcotics on the Internet and engaging in a continuing criminal enterprise, charges that carry potential life terms.


#767

Shocked that headline grabbing overcharges were an exaggeration.

This sentence is scary nuts.


#768

I’m not sure, looks like the jurors did decide he was part of a murder-for-hire conspiracy beyond a reasonable doubt, the ‘overt act in furtherance of the conspiracy’ part mentions murder-for-hire as the act in that conspiracy, and he was convicted on that charge:

The Government also intends to offer evidence that, in March and April 2013,Ulbricht, acting as DPR, solicited the murder-for-hire of a Silk Road vendor with the username “FriendlyChemist,” who was attempting to extort DPR.

And he was convicted of, Count 1: Trafficking Conspiracy, Overt Acts, (b), of which murder-for-hire is the key act.


#769

Yeah, OK, fuck that guy. Stick him in a hole and never let him out.


#770

This Wired article about Dread Pirate Roberts and the operation to catch him is terrific reading. I’d be surprised if it’s not snatched up for a movie script.

Which is why Green found himself surrounded by an interagency task force. He had been hired by Dread Pirate Roberts, the mysterious figure at the center of Silk Road. DPR, as he was often called, was the proprietor of the site and the visionary leader of its growing community. His relatively frictionless drug market was a serious challenge to law enforcement, who still had no idea who he or she was—or even if DPR was a single person at all. For over a year, agents from the DEA, the FBI, Homeland Security, the IRS, the Secret Service, and US Postal Inspection had been trying to infiltrate the organization’s inner circle. This bust of Green and his Chihuahuas in the frozen Utah desert was their first notable success.

The Feds got Green on his feet. They had a lot of questions, starting with why he had $23,000 cash in his fanny pack and who was on the other end of the encrypted chat dialogs on his computer. Green said, improbably, that the money was his tax return. He also asked for his pain medication. Instead they escorted him to the door and into a squad car, informing him that he’d be booked for possession of 1,092 grams of cocaine with intent to distribute.

“Don’t take me to jail,” Green pleaded. “He knows everything about me.”

Later, under interrogation, Green told the skeptical agents that to charge him and make his name public was a potential death sentence. Dread Pirate Roberts was dangerous, he said: “This guy’s got millions. He could have me killed.”


#771

Also, holy shit at the article’s ending chapters.


#772

That article is amazing. Thanks for linking.


#773

Seconding that, very enthralling.


#774

Thirded. Wonderfully written; great twist at the end.


#775

Made millions from illegal drug transactions, thought he was ordering up hits on people. I don’t think it really matters what his ideals were.


#776

There is a documentary already…Deep Web:


#777

Great story, I must have missed that issue in April.


#778

A number of my more libertarian friends can’t seem to understand why he was sentenced so harshly. That point of view seems crazy to me! Dude ran an illegal enterprise and paid to have people killed. I get that he was in over his head, but he’s clearly an amoral asshole willing to sanction the murder of others (including his colleagues!) just to keep making money.

At least his sentences are concurrent, rather then consecutive.


#779

Yeah, the way the description of his first target says he was married with (3?) kids kind of sucks away any sympathy he would have had from me right from the start. I get that he probably never intended for things to get so out of hand but he’s still responsible for all of his actions.


#780

Wow, that is one hell of a story. One thing didn’t totally make sense to me though: it read as though the FBI/DEA sent a package of cocaine to Green, then busted him when he opened it. I’m sure I must have misunderstood that, seems no better than a traffic cop pulling you over and tossing a bag of coke on your passenger seat, “Well what have we here?”