back to article 'Dread Pirate Roberts' suspect's bid for freedom fails

Ross Ulbricht has lost his bid to have money-laundering and other charges dismissed. According to Reuters, the man accused of being Silk Road's “Dread Pirate Roberts” tried to slip from under the money-laundering charge on the basis that Bitcoin isn't money, but property. That argument didn't impress US District Judge …

  1. Martin Budden Bronze badge

    What was his response to the judge?

    I hope he said "As you wish".

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    “The allegations amount to Ulbricht acting as a sort of 'godfather' - determining the territory, the actions which may be undertaken, and the commissions he will retain; disciplining others to stay in line, and generally casting himself as a leader”

    No complaints from me that they are pursuing this twat on that basis, but surely the same applies to the senior management at various banks in the run up to 2008. So why aren't they on trial?

    1. Moosh
      Holmes

      Paper money more easily finds its way into pockets.

    2. veti Silver badge
      Black Helicopters

      They paid their taxes.

      Sorry, did I say 'taxes'? I meant 'contributions'.

      Although they did make sure that the treasury, and the country as a whole, got something out of them too. The Silk Road dipshits, on the other hand, just kept the money to themselves.

      Crime 101: getting away with it - costs. Always.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Don't drop the soap Ross. Don't drop the soap.

  4. Julian Taylor Silver badge
    WTF?

    "But the judge said the indictment went further, alleging that Silk Road was "specifically and intentionally designed" to create an "expansive black market" for drugs and malicious software and laundering money."

    Good luck with proving that one in court. He just has to deny it and make them prove that from day one he wanted to deal in drugs and malicious software, which I doubt they can.

    "She said the allegations, if true, would distinguish Silk Road from websites such as Amazon.com Inc and eBay Inc, which are intended for buyers and sellers to complete transactions lawfully."

    Except that like it or not both Amazon and eBay do permit the conduct of illegal transactions, such as fake branded goods or illegally copied software.

    1. Tom 13

      Re: prove that from day one he wanted to deal in drugs

      Unlike you, the judge is an educated person.

      They do not have to prove that was his intention from day one. They only have to prove that at the time he was captured, a significant purpose of the site he was running was to run drugs, and that he knowingly promoted it as such. The captured chats and email are sufficient to bind him over for trial.

      As for Amazon and eBay, so long as the people running the sites are:

      1) Not actively promoting it for those purposes in advertising, and

      2) Taking reasonable actions when notified of such activity, particularly when the notification comes from law enforcement

      you aren't engaged in money laundering, drug running, or other felonies.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: prove that from day one he wanted to deal in drugs

        > They do not have to prove that was his intention from day one

        Actually, they do. The judge was quite explicit about it:

        “Ulbricht is alleged to have knowingly and intentionally constructed and operated an expansive black market”

        "Constructed" is the key word here. They do have to prove that it was his intent from the start.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: prove that from day one he wanted to deal in drugs

          "Constructed" could mean a feature of version 2.0 of the site that was not in version 1.0. Or has (for instance) Microsoft not constructed anything since Windows 1.0?

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Is opinion some kind of legal term? I always thought that judges were supposed to be impartial. I would view someone who had a 57-page opinion on anything with some suspicious.

    1. DavCrav Silver badge

      "Is opinion some kind of legal term? I always thought that judges were supposed to be impartial."

      Yes, it is a legal term. But also, just because you are unbiased doesn't mean you don't have an opinion. If someone is caught stabbing somebody on camera then even unbiased people would have an opinion over whether they are guilty.

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