According to court documents that were recently made public, two federal agents have been accused of stealing more than $1 million USD in bitcoins during their time investigating the Silk Road underground market.
Carl Force, a former Drug Enforcement Administration agent, is being charged with wire fraud, theft of government property, money laundering, and conflict of interest. Evidence suggests that he was able to get $100,000 in bitcoins from Ross Ulbricht, the founder of Silk Road, while doing authorized undercover work. Prosecutors also claim he used his position as an executive at a digital currency exchange to illegally seize customer funds, which he then transferred into his personal accounts.
Force also worked with former Secret Service agent Shaun Bridges, who is being charged with wire fraud and money laundering. Though the two did work on the same task force, they do not appear to have collaborated to steal the bitcoins. Bridges allegedly used the credentials of a Silk Road admin who had been arrested to steal $820,000, which was then transferred into his personal account.
Both Force and Bridges resigned once they learned they were under investigation, and evidence against them was obtained in part from Ross Ulbricht’s laptop.