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Bitcoin The Courts

Ulbricht Admits Seized Bitcoins Are His and Wants Them Back 243

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the good-luck-with-that dept.
An anonymous reader writes with the latest news about the aftermath of the Silk Road shutdown "From the article: 'Ulbricht ... said in a notarised December 11 statement that he believes the virtual currency should be returned to him because Bitcoins are "not subject to seizure" by federal law. Ulbricht, 29, now admits the Bitcoin fortune is his — even though he's previously denied any wrongdoing regarding Silk Road and claimed through his lawyer that the feds arrested the wrong guy.' So not only has he now confirmed his link to the site, and confirmed the money is his, but also means that a few precedents will be set. Is it seizable? Is it just 'copying data?'" Relatedly, three alleged moderators of Silk Road were indicted on Friday.
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Ulbricht Admits Seized Bitcoins Are His and Wants Them Back

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  • Re:Arrogance (Score:5, Interesting)

    by gbjbaanb (229885) on Tuesday December 24, 2013 @09:38AM (#45774753)

    indeed.

    I say - give him his bitcoins back, with a wimpy apology. And then refuse to allow him access to computers whilst he's in prison because of the computer-network related offences he just admitted to.

    And then imprison him more for evading taxes on his bitcoin income.

  • Still an idiot (Score:5, Interesting)

    by onyxruby (118189) <onyxrubyNO@SPAMcomcast.net> on Tuesday December 24, 2013 @10:46AM (#45775213)

    My opinion that the less than Dread Pirate Roberts is a massive idiot has now been reinforced in a way I never would have imagined. The demand is tantamount to the drug lord demanding the feds return the hundred million dollars that could only have come from selling 100 kilos of cocaine many times over.

    He hasn't got any possible legal pretense to justifying having the money and all it's going to do is prove his guilt. This idiot ought to look at the cartels and organized crime worldwide where they pointedly have this process called laundering money so that they can have at least have a pretense of legitimacy for their claims. No jury in the world is going to buy that this guy made tens of millions of dollars day trading bitcoin without a paper trail.

    I haven't seen a single thing about the silk road operation that did anything other than prove the man was an idiot from inception through the present day. Why the hell are people defending this guy, just because he ran a trading site for drugs? The people who were deluded into thinking they were safe on silk road are being arrested, the intelligence gained was an incredible coup and likely the only reason it lasted as long as it did until the guy started trying to trade bitcoins for murder.

    If you want to defend legalizing drugs, than make your argument for that, but don't defend one of the biggest idiots the Internet has ever seen.

  • Re:Argument? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by TheCarp (96830) <[ten.tenaprac] [ta] [cjs]> on Tuesday December 24, 2013 @11:08AM (#45775365) Homepage

    Ahhhh! However the hard drive is also evidence against him in a criminal trial. This means the contents should be available to him as a matter of discovery. If he has to answer for the contents of the drive, he needs to be able to have the same data they do to defend himself.

    I lived with someone who did computer forensics for the defense at a trial. He had to install a lock on the office door for that, and he had many binders of reports. He also was provided images of all computers that were seized. Full images. (complete with malware!)

    Its an interesting argument. The wallets are just data; data being used as evidence against him. They are not the bitcoins themselves. I would be surprised if there is any real direct precedent for this. The very files he needs and should be entitled to for the purpose of his defence, also necessarily give him control over the bitcoins....there is no separation between the two.

    It will be interesting to see how these arguments go. It may in fact be that bitcoins perform an end run around existing federal law. It certainly will make me laugh if this works.

  • Re:Still an idiot (Score:5, Interesting)

    by onyxruby (118189) <onyxrubyNO@SPAMcomcast.net> on Tuesday December 24, 2013 @11:32AM (#45775595)

    Your an idiot without any idea of how the law works. So let me point you in the right direction with some links that didn't come from wikipedia.

    http://www.law.cornell.edu/wex/forfeiture [cornell.edu]
    http://www.mackinac.org/1274 [mackinac.org]
    http://www.fbi.gov/stats-services/publications/law-enforcement-bulletin/april-2012/money-laundering-and-asset-forfeiture [fbi.gov]
    http://www.fbi.gov/about-us/investigate/white_collar/asset-forfeiture [fbi.gov]
    http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=19&cad=rja&ved=0CHcQFjAIOAo&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.drugpolicy.org%2FdocUploads%2FAsset_Forfeiture_Briefing.pdf&ei=y6e5UofjNeGqyAGxxoHABQ&usg=AFQjCNH69cfy5T2Ayp8TL9L38XZJ4VPCcw&sig2=g3-gNZLWLpcJMyhtBipLCg [google.com]

    But hey, it's not like there isn't precedent going back centuries for doing this.

    http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424053111903480904576512253265073870 [wsj.com]

    Even if he somehow could get out of the drug dealer and murder for hire charges he would still have the problem of proving how he legitimately got the money and why he didn't pay taxes on it. Penalties for failing to report tens of millions of dollars in income could easily put him in prison for a decades and would still result in the loss of the bitcoins because he can't prove any legitimate means why which he got them.

    He admitted an entirely new set of felonies around taxes just to try to claim the bitcoins back. Again, he is one of the biggest idiots that the Internet has ever known.

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