One of the two US government officials charged with some shady dealings during the investigation of Silk Road pleaded guilty today. Carl Force used to work for the DEA and during the course of his investigation was doing things that might even make the darknet blush.
Force contacted Silk Road founder Ross Ulbricht under the name Nob and allegedly coaxed Ulbricht into paying $US50,000 for information into the ongoing investigation. Force told his employers at the DEA but failed to mention the payment, which went into Force's personal account. That's a big no-no.
Carl Force, a former U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration agent, admitted to charges of extortion, money laundering and obstruction of justice. In a San Francisco federal court, Force appeared in an orange jump suit and leg shackles and acknowledged a litany of criminal acts.
Among them, Force said he agreed to a contract with Twenty-First Century Fox Inc (FOXA.O) last year to help make a movie about the Silk Road investigation, without the permission of his supervisors. That deal called for him to be paid up to $US240,000.
Yep, you read that right. Force took $US240,000 from a movie studio for the right to use his story in the future. Apparently that's also a big no-no in an investigation like this.
Force also allegedly tried to double-dip, asking for $US98,000 in bitcoin under a different pseudonym for information on the Silk Road case. This case was really just a whole barrel of no-no's.
Prosecutors have already reached a plea deal with Shaun Bridges, a former Secret Service agent who was allegedly running a similar racket as Force during the Silk Road investigation.