After pleading guilty to charges related to the theft of bitcoin during an investigation into the illegal Silk Road marketplace, former Secret Service agent Shaun Bridges was sentenced to 71 months in a federal prison for his actions. While Bridges was investigating Silk Road with former DEA agent Carl M. Force (also complicit in the theft), Bridges used his insider knowledge and administrator access to steal as much as 20,000 bitcoin from Silk Road customers.
Specifically, Bridges locked drug dealers out of their accounts on Silk Road before transferring bitcoin in their accounts to his Mt. Gox account. At the time of the theft, the bitcoin was worth roughly $300,000.
If Bridges hadn’t been caught, 20,000 bitcoin would be worth roughly 7.8 million dollars in U.S. currency at today’s exchange rates. Of course, that’s assuming Bridges would have moved the bitcoin out of Mt. Gox before the exchange went bankrupt during early 2014.
Speaking about the crime, US District Judge Richard Seeborg said “This, to me, is an extremely serious crime consisting of the betrayal of public trust from a public official. From what I can see, it was motivated by greed. No departure or variance is