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Silk Road operators developed a taste for murder

Joab Jackson | Feb. 3, 2015
Silk Road administrators may have had five swindlers murdered, or they may have been duped by con artists themselves.

Redandwhite recommended that his professional killers could take care of all four individuals for $500,000, a figure that Dread Pirate Roberts agreed to. On April 18, redandwhite, through chat, wrote that "my crew did their job," and that they recovered a thumb drive with a file called "blackmail.txt," containing the names and addresses of thousands of individuals.

In addition to the details surrounding the putative murders-for-hire, Shaw also offered a detailed breakdown of how much money Silk Road made, based on a database of all transactions found on the Web servers the FBI seized. The database covers the entire time span of Silk Road operations, from February 2011 until Oct. 2, 2013. Tallying the database figures, Shaw said that Silk Road conducted approximately 1.5 million transactions, involving 9.81 million bitcoins worth over $213 million at the time they exchanged hands. Silk Road made 642,000 Bitcoins in commissions, worth approximately $13 million, off these transactions.

As the prosecutors bring their case to a close, Ulbricht's defense team, led by Dratel, is having trouble bringing its own witnesses to the stand. U.S. District Judge Katherine Forrest, who is overseeing the case, barred one expert witness, named Antonopoulos, from testifying on how bitcoin operated, because the court "cannot properly assess his qualifications." The defense has also not indicated whether Ulbricht will take the stand, but it must do so Monday, Forrest told Dratel.


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