Saturday, February 7, 2015

Recapping The Silk Road Trial: words and images

from Tech Crunch by John Bush
Cold winds and snow buffeted the walls of the Daniel Patrick Moynihan United States Courthouse last week as jurors heard more of the Government’s case in the Silk Road Marketplace trial against Ross WIlliam Ulbricht.
Ulbricht is being prosecuted for creating the Silk Road Marketplace and allegedly facilitating the purchase and sale of illicit goods and drugs.
In week three of the trial, the jury learned how a google search led the IRS to Ross Ulbricht and how activities referenced in Ulbricht’s personal emails were also found in private chats between Silk Road’s main administrator, Dread Pirate Roberts, and his associates. 

Ross William Ulbricht during opening statements 

Defense Attorney Joshua Dratel gives opening statement

On the final day of week three proceedings, the jury heard from former FBI Agent, Ilhwan Yum about the results of a bitcoin transaction analysis he conducted on Bitcoin wallets found on Silk Road servers and Ulbricht’s seized laptop.  Yum, who played a major role in the seizure of Silk Road’s servers, found a total of 2,105,127 bitcoin addresses on Silk Road servers and 11,135 on Ulbricht’s laptop.
 Former FBI Agent, Ilhwan Yum testifies about the results of a Bitcoin transaction analysis he conducted on Bitcoin wallets found on Silk Road servers and Ulbricht’s seized laptop

He then conducted an analysis on transactions sent from Silk Road wallets to bitcoin addresses on Ulbricht’s computer.  Yum found that there were just under 4,000 transaction originating with Silk Road wallets and sent to wallets found on Ulbricht’s laptop.  These transactions totaled 700,254 bitcoins ($13,359,552 when averaging bitcoin price over the duration of the bitcoin transfers).

FBI consultant Brian Shaw introduces material found on
Ulbrichts' computer including chats about a murder for hire plot.
 The Murder For Hire Plot Rears It’s Ugly Head
Before proceedings ended on Thursday, the Government began telling the story of Dread Pirate Roberts’ alleged murder-for-hire plot.  The Prosecution shared a string of messages between DPR and the apparent hitman that began following DPR’s receipt of threats to reveal thousands of Silk Road user identities.  In response to receiving the threats, DPR reached out to the supplier who was said to have been owed the $500,000 bounty from the original threat.  The supplier, who used username “redandwhite” was then hired to kill “FriendlyChemist” before he revealed any information that could damage Silk Road.  The jury heard a message from Dread Pirate Roberts to “redandwhite” that read, “In my eyes, FriendlyChemist is a liability and I wouldn’t mind if he was executed”.

Defendant Ross Ulbricht during murder for hire testimony with quote on screen:
" commissioned hit on black mailer with Hells Angels"

AUSA Serrin Turner gives closing statement

AUSA Timothy Howard give closing rebuttal statement.

Verdict story by Kara Scannelli of the

The jury took fewer than four hours to convict Ross Ulbricht, the creator of Silk Road, of running a multimillion-dollar drug-trafficking operation from his laptop computer.
Ulbricht, 30, was convicted on all seven counts related to the trafficking and faces 20 years to life in prison when he is sentenced in May.

Wide shot with courtroom deputy Joseph Pecorino  reading guilty verdict

Family reaction to verdict with Ulbricht looking around to see his family.

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