The Southern District of New York’s United States Attorney’s Office has declared the sentence for a person who pleaded guilty to wire fraud charges in relation to illegally acquired Bitcoin from the Silk Road marketplace in 2012.
On April 14, the U.S. Justice Department disclosed that James Zhong was sentenced to one year and one day in prison for engaging in a plot to steal over 51,680 Bitcoin (BTC). In November 2022, Zhong pled guilty to the charges and has been awaiting sentencing.
U.S. Attorney Damian Williams stated, «Cyber-criminals should heed this message: we will follow the money and hold you accountable, no matter how sophisticated your scheme and no matter how long it takes.»
Williams revealed that in 2012, Zhong stole the BTC and was able to conceal his crime for nearly a decade until he was charged. In November 2021, the U.S. authorities seized the Bitcoin holding from Zhong’s residence in Georgia, discovering most of the cryptocurrency in a floor safe, and a computer disguised in a popcorn tin. At the time, the coins were worth approximately $3.4 billion.
In the U.S. Attorney’s sentencing memo for Silk Road Bitcoin stealer James Zhong: investigators seized criminal proceeds from «a single-board computer that was submerged under blankets in a popcorn tin stored in a bathroom closet.» (Sentencing is today at 3 pm). pic.twitter.com/7aamQryQ6B
— Rachel Scharf (@rscharf_) April 14, 2023
Related: US government plans to sell 41K Bitcoin connected to Silk Road
The Silk Road marketplace, which was defunct for approximately ten years, enabled users to buy and sell illegal goods such as weapons and stolen credit card data, attracting the attention of U.S. authorities. The platform’s creator, Ross Ulbricht, was arrested in 2013 and is now serving two life sentences without the possibility of parole.
Magazine: US enforcement agencies are turning up the heat on crypto-related crime