The United States government plans to liquidate more than 41,000 Bitcoin (BTC) seized as part of a case connected to Silk Road creator Ross Ulbricht.
A March 31 filing with U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York regarding the sentencing of James Zhong stated U.S. government authorities had begun liquidating roughly 51,352 BTC seized in the Ulbricht case. According to the filing, officials sold roughly 9,861 BTC for more than $215 million on March 14, leaving roughly 41,491 BTC.
“The Government understands [the seized Bitcoin] is expected to be liquidated in four more batches over the course of this calendar year,” said the court filing. “The Government understands from IRS Criminal Investigation - Asset Recovery & Investigative Services that the second round of liquidation will not be sold prior to Zhong’s sentencing date.”
In November, Zhong pled guilty to wire fraud charges related to executing a scheme to steal Bitcoin from Silk Road in 2012. U.S. authorities seized more than 50,000 BTC — worth more than $3 billion at the time — from his Georgia home in November 2021. It was one of the largest crypto seizures by the government until the February 2022 recovery of roughly $3.6 billion connected to the 2016 Bitfinex hack.
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The Silk Road marketplace, which has been defunct for 10 years, originally allowed users to buy and sell illicit goods, including weapons and stolen credit card information. However, the marketplace also drew the attention of U.S. authorities, who arrested Ulbricht in 2013. He is currently serving two life sentences without the possibility of parole.
The price of BTC has had a volatile month, dipping below $20,000 on March 10 and moving above $29,000 on March 29. At the time of publication, BTC’s price was $28,378.
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