Silk Road founder wants U.S. gov’t to return $30 million bitcoin

A screen still of the original website Silk Road, prior to its removal by authorities. CBS

An Internet entrepreneur accused of being behind an online marketplace for illegal drugs has asked the government to return more than $30 million in bitcoin seized from his computers.

Ross Ulbricht, of San Francisco, was arrested in October following a crackdown on the black market website Silk Road. 


Silk Road is a website that can only be accessed through the anonymous Tor Web network. Users can purchase drugs, guns, forged documents and other illegal paraphernalia using the online currency Bitcoin.

Federal prosecutors in New York say Ulbricht went by the online handle the Dread Pirate Roberts and turned the underground site into a place where anonymous users could buy or sell contraband and illegal services.

In court filings, prosecutors say they seized 144,336 bitcoins from Ulbricht's computers.

Though subject to fluctuations in value, the virtual currency is exceedingly valuable, but lightly regulated.

Ulbricht says in a legal filing that the currency should be returned because it isn't subject to civil forfeiture rules.


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