US to sell $117 million worth of Bitcoin tied to Silk Road seizures

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The US District Court for the District of Maryland has ordered the forfeiture of nearly $117 million worth of Bitcoin (BTC), linked to the Silk Road drug marketplace. This decision follows convictions in a high-profile case involving former Secret Service agent Shaun Bridges and Maryland residents Joseph and Ryan Farace.

The court’s official notice, dated Jan. 8, 2024, details the forfeiture of 2,874 BTC, approximately valued at $114 million, and an additional 58 BTC, worth more than $2 million.

The forfeited crypto assets have links to convicted former Secret Service agent Shaun Bridges, who was involved in the investigation and subsequent takedown of Silk Road, which operated between 2011 and 2013. Bridges is currently serving prison time for money laundering and stealing over 1,500 BTC during the Silk Road probe.

Also implicated is 72-year-old Joseph Farace of Maryland, who was sentenced this month to 19 months in federal prison for helping his son launder Bitcoins that were illegally earned by selling drugs on dark web marketplaces. Investigations found that Farace’s son, Ryan, had acquired over 9,100 BTC through darknet drug sales under the alias “XANAXMAN.”

This month, Joseph Farace was sentenced to 19 months in federal prison after being found guilty of aiding his son, Ryan Farace, in laundering Bitcoin proceeds from illicit drug sales. The father-son duo, operating out of Maryland, engaged in a dark web drug trafficking and Bitcoin money laundering scheme. Court documents reveal that Ryan Farace, known by the alias “Xanaxman,” received over 9,138 BTC from darknet marketplaces like Silk Road.

The US Attorney General is set to direct the disposal of this forfeited property. Interested parties, other than the defendants, have been given a 60-day window from January 10, 2024, to file ancillary petitions. Following this period, the US will gain clear title to the property and can transfer good title to any subsequent purchaser or transferee.

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