Billions in Bitcoin Linked to Silk Road Seized by US Attorney’s Office – The Department of Justice (DOJ) announced on Monday that over $3.36 billion worth of Bitcoin
affiliated with the dark net marketplace Silk Road was seized by law enforcement in November 2021.

The reveal by the US Attorney’s Office comes after James Zhong, the man responsible for receiving the 50,676 Bitcoin in September 2012, pled guilty to one count of wire fraud on Friday. Ten years ago, one Bitcoin was worth roughly $10.

This goes down as the second-largest Bitcoin seizure in the DOJ’s history—bested only by the seizure of 94,000 Bitcoin stolen in the 2016 Bitfinex hack. At the time those coins were reclaimed, they were worth about $3.6 billion.

Zhong’s alleged crime could land him a maximum of 20 years in prison.

“For almost ten years, the whereabouts of this massive chunk of missing Bitcoin had ballooned into an over $3.3 billion mystery,” said U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York Damian Williams. The attorney said law enforcement located the funds using “cryptocurrency tracing” and “good old-fashioned police work.”

Zhong allegedly used a trading scheme in September 2012 to defraud Silk Road of its Bitcoin without listing or buying any real items from its marketplace. The black market was frequently used to trade illegal drugs and other illicit goods before its founder, Ross Ulbricht, was sentenced to life in prison in 2015.