Shaun Bridges, a former U.S. Secret Service agent, has been sentenced to almost six years in prison for stealing over $820,000 in bitcoin during an investigation involving the former online black marketplace Silk Road.
Bridges entered a guilty plea for his crime this past August, admitting to charges of money laundering and obstruction.
The former agent was part of a task force assigned to scrutinize the activity of Silk Road, considered the first modern dark Web marketplace when it was founded in 2011. Even though Silk Road was shut down in 2013, the illegal marketplace still has a notorious reputation for trafficking large amounts of contraband such as drugs and firearms, and even facilitating murder-for-hire deals, including one involving Silk Road founder Ross Ulbricht.
Bridges was part of Operation Onymous, the investigation that led to Silk Road's downfall, along with Ulbricht's arrest and subsequent conviction for running the site, with a term of life imprisonment. The former agent laundered the money through a witness his investigating team was using for its case.
Bridges alleges that he did not spend any of the money he laundered and that he has accepted full responsibility for his actions.
"I obviously have lost a lot, a very illustrious career," he said, as reported by the Associated Press.
During sentencing, U.S. District Judge Richard Seeborg called the theft a "shocking and reprehensible abandonment of his public duty."
"This, to me, is an extremely serious crime consisting of the betrayal of public trust by a federal law enforcement agent," he added. "And from everything I see, it was motivated entirely by greed."
Photo: Antana | Flickr