Silk Road Thief’s Pleading Guilty Allows DOJ to Seizing BTC Worth Over $3 Billion

ByEdward Thompson

Nov 13, 2022

The thief, who stole from one of the markets of Silk Road whopping 50K units of Bitcoins, accepted his guilt before the Court by pleading guilty. According to DOJ, the department had never seized proceeds of crime which were as expensive as $3.36 Billion i.e. the total price of 50,000 Bitcoins.

Pleading Of Guilty By Bitcoin Thief

James Zhong who was brought before the US Court for trial had been one of the most notorious and unfortunate thieves in the world.

Zhong exploited a market within the infamous dark web namely Silk Road from where he stole 50,000 units of Bitcoins in September last year.

When the Court asked him how he wished to plead his case as ‘guilty’ or ‘not guilty’, he opted for pleading as ‘guilty’. It was the US Department of Justice (DOJ) that stated in the media that the perpetrator had pleaded guilty.

Landmark Seizure

DOJ further suggested that it had never seized anything as highly expensive as which proceeds of crime it had seized from Zhong.

The media statement suggested that Bitcoins worth roughly $3.36 Billion were seized from the possession of the Silk Market’s exploiter.

It was explained by DOJ that the department’s crime wing raided Zhong’s residence on 9th November 2021 in Georgia. During the raid, the department seized from Zhong’s possession $3.36 Billion worth of Bitcoins.

DOJ also said that way back in November 2021, it was the biggest and most expensive seizure the department had ever seized in history.

Even as of today, the DOJ’s seizure of Bitcoins remains the second most expensive seizure although the value of Bitcoins has dropped immensely.

Voluntary Surrendering of 3,500 More BTCs

While raiding, DOJ further took note that Zhong had in his possession exactly 3,500 Bitcoin in addition to 50,000 Bitcoins. These 3,500 Bitcoin Zhong had gained when a hard form occurred in the Bitcoin blockchain in 2017.

These 3,500 Bitcoin were in fact converted by Zhong against 50,000 units of Bitcoin Cash. For the said conversion, Zhong was smart enough to obtain exchange services from a foreign crypto trading and exchange platform.

Although Bitcoins were seized by DOJ from Zhong’s custody, however, the thief surrendered his 3,500 Bitcoins to DOJ voluntarily in March 2022.

US Government is expecting forfeiture of about 51,680 Bitcoins Bitcoins worth approximately $1.20 Billion at the present market value of $20,641.

Stealing By Fraud

Zhong managed to exploit Silk Road by fraud which he committed ten years ago in 2021. According to DOJ, Zhong never deposited too many Bitcoins with the exploited market but in return took out massive Bitcoins from it.

Now that Zhong has admitted his guilt by pleading guilty, he has actually forfeited his Bitcoin possession for obtaining a reduction in his sentence.

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