Peter Ward argues that the 100 Bitcoins seized from him in the US government’s raid on the Silk Road last year were taken unlawfully, and he has announced a plan to lawyer up and try to get them back.
Ward, the owner of a head shop in Devon, England, sold bongs and rolling papers on the Silk Road, the same things he currently sells in his Planet Pluto shop. He told Forbes that he can prove all of his transactions were legal and thus were not subject to forfeiture.
Ward was also arrested in his home by the UK’s National Crime Agency, whose agents confiscated a personal stash of marijuana and cocaine but have not yet charged him.
Ward remains defiant. “It will be cool if an old hippy can throw a spanner in the big FBI machine,” he said.
At the time of writing, Ward’s stash of 100 Bitcoins would be worth about 85,000 USD or 52,000 GBP.
The asset forfeiture lawyer who also spoke to Forbes, Steven L. Kessler, suggested Ward may have a case, but warned the back-and-forth with US official could be lengthy. That means Ward may not see his money any time soon.
Ward is benefiting from the publicity, at least. He tweeted from his own Twitter account, @plutopete, the Bitcoin address followers can use to help him raise funds for his legal defense.
Then, you know, if they need some blunt rolls and happen to be in the south of England, he can probably hook that up.