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U.S. Government Plans to Auction Over $131 Million in Bitcoin Seized from Silk Road

The U.S. District Court of Maryland has issued a notice outlining the disposal of a significant amount of Bitcoin, amounting to over $131 million, seized from the former darknet marketplace Silk Road. This move follows the court’s order in the case of U.S. v. Joseph Farace, where Bitcoin was confiscated from individuals Ryan Farace and Shaun Bridges in 2021.

Ryan Farace, along with his father, was sentenced to 54 months in prison earlier in the year for laundering drug profits through the dark web. Shaun Bridges, a former U.S. Secret Service Special Agent, was convicted in 2015 for using Bitcoin to launder drug money on the Silk Road marketplace.

The forfeited digital assets consist of 2,874 Bitcoins, valued at approximately $129 million, and an additional 58 Bitcoins worth around $3 million. Both sets of Bitcoin were seized in 2021 from locations in Memphis and Arlington.

The U.S. District Court has conveyed its intention to sell the confiscated assets as directed by the Attorney General. Individuals, excluding the defendants in the case, who claim an interest in the forfeited assets have a 60-day window, starting from January 10, to file an ancillary petition. This legal document is required for individuals to stake a claim to seized property.

Upon the conclusion of the claims review period, or if there are no valid claims, the U.S. government will officially assume ownership of the seized Bitcoin and proceed with the legal auction process.

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