01 Apr '14, 6pm

Alleged Silk Road owner says he can't be guilty of money laundering if bitcoin isn't money

Alleged Silk Road owner says he can't be guilty of money laundering if bitcoin isn't money

Ross Ulbricht, who stands accused of running the Silk Road black market under the name "Dread Pirate Roberts," says that new federal bitcoin laws make the charges against him invalid. In a filing over the weekend, Ulbricht's lawyers defended him against charges of hacking, narcotics trafficking, operating a criminal conspiracy, and money laundering. The first three charges, his lawyers argue, are "unconstitutionally broad" and can't be applied to the normal operation of a website, even one whose business is illegal goods. And the last charge, they say, makes no sense if there isn't actual money involved — a possibility implied by a recent IRS decision. Ulbricht's defense against the first three charges largely amounts to an abdication of responsibility over what users did on the site: any actual drug trafficking would have been done by users of Silk Road, not the site's op...

Full article: http://www.theverge.com/2014/4/1/5570984/alleged-silk-roa...

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