A government agent who stole $820,000 in bitcoins while investigating an online drug emporium was sentenced Monday to almost six years in prison after a prosecutor said his deceit amounts to a “breathtaking abuse of trust.”
Shaun Bridges, who worked for the Secret Service, hijacked the account of an administrator for the Silk Road black market website to syphon off bitcoins. The U.S. said Bridges deserved a harsh sentence because the administrator was working as a government informant and was put in danger when Silk Road’s founder assumed he was the thief and tried to have him killed.
A former Drug Enforcement Administration agent who worked with Bridges on the Silk Road probe was sentenced in October to 6 1/2 years in prison after he too pleaded guilty to stealing bitcoins.
The government’s investigation of the Internet bazaar for drugs, hacker tools and other contraband led to the conviction of founder Ross Ulbricht, who was sentenced in May to life in prison.