- A U.S. court has mandated the forfeiture of thousands of illicit BTCs.
- The crypto is linked to a dark web marketplace.
- The marketplace founder is serving a life sentence behind bars.
A U.S. appeals court has finalized a mandate that formalizes the forfeiture of thousands of Bitcoin (BTC) assets linked to the now-defunct dark web marketplace Silk Road.
The development follows a judgment delivered in August in favor of the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) to seize the crypto, which was valued at over $1 billion at the time. A few days before the judgment, the DOJ moved the illicit BTC out of a crypto wallet address connected to Silk Road and filed a motion seeking the official forfeiture of the crypto.
Court Approves Silk Road’s BTC Forfeiture
According to a filing dated December 20, the U.S. District Court for Northern California, San Francisco, has mandated the transfer of the Bitcoin to federal control.
This includes 69,370 BTC, in addition to other unquantified Bitcoin assets, including Bitcoin Cash (BCH), Bitcoin SV (BSV), and Bitcoin gold (BTG).
Market participants and keen observers closely track the movement of the funds, frequently speculating about the possible impact any large sale by the U.S. government could have on the BTC price.
In the meantime, the founder of Silk Road, Ross Ulbricht, is cooling his heels behind bars following his conviction in 2015.
Silk Road Founder Behind Bars
Upon his conviction on drug trafficking, computer hacking, and money laundering, Ulbricht was sentenced to life imprisonment.
While he was in prison since May 29, 2015, it wasn’t until November 2022 that the DOJ announced the historic $3.3 billion crypto seizure linked to Ulbrich’s dark web marketplace.
Law enforcement stumbled upon the illicit BTC while investigating hacker James Zhong, who pleaded guilty to unlawfully obtaining the crypto from the Silk Road Dark Web in 2012.
The DOJ alleged that the online “darknet” black market was used by numerous drug dealers and other unlawful vendors to distribute massive quantities of illegal drugs and to launder all funds passing through it between 2011 and 2013.
Read how the DOJ recently seized $54M Ether:
DOJ Seizes $54M Ether from Narcotics Distribution Scheme
Stay updated on the suspects the DOJ charged in a multimillion crypto money laundering case:
DOJ Charges Suspects in $10M Crypto Money Laundering Scheme