Earlier this month, the US Department of Justice filed a notice regarding the forfeiture and confiscation of about 2,933 BTC from Ryan Farace and Shaun Bridges.
The BTC is divided into two lots – one of about 58.74 and a much larger lot worth nearly 2,875 BTC.
Ryan’s father, Joseph Farace, is also implicated in this case due to a prior conviction in which father and son were found guilty of laundering BTC used for illegal transactions.
Names of Old And New
Shaun Bridges, on the other hand, has been holding a known quantity in Silk Road-linked Bitcoin for quite a while now. As a former FBI agent, Bridges profited from his participation in the actions against Silk Road to steal from a site administrator’s account.
At the time, the amount of BTC stolen was worth about $800k, but its valuation is a lot higher now. Bridges was later temporarily released before being apprehended again while attempting to flee the country in defiance of a court order.
Ryan and Joseph Farace, on the other hand, were convicted in 2018 of selling Xanax on “a series of darknet marketplaces” during an unspecified period of time.
“Cryptocurrency tracing techniques established that, in all, wallets associated with R. Farace, and/or his vendor name “XANAXMAN,” received over 9,138 Bitcoins from addresses associated with darknet marketplaces.”
Recovery of Crime Proceeds
Farace allegedly cooperated with law enforcement before his trial, assisting them in recovering the proceeds of his sales. However, an extra 24 BTC was allegedly recovered later, casting doubt on the level of cooperation provided.
While in prison, Ryan conspired with his father to move some more BTC into a foreign bank account. Communication between the two was carried out via e-mail sent from a contraband phone in prison, through which Ryan instructed his father to send the bitcoins to a foreign bank account, which he wrote down on the cover of a prison book and was then mailed to his father.
Unfortunately for the pair, their communications were intercepted, and the assets in question were confiscated.
The U.S. Government now intends to dispose of these assets and will be selling them as soon as the grace period for mitigation claims has passed.
If no legitimate claims are filed against the decision, the U.S. Government will sell the BTC in an as-of-yet unannounced sale.
This leads to speculations on whether this approval will result in another price decline for the cryptocurrency, which has already been down by almost ten grand in the past few weeks.