Recently, the U.S. Department of Justice took action to forfeit and seize approximately 2,933 BTC linked to Ryan Farace and Shaun Bridges.
This batch of Bitcoin is divided into two portions: one containing around 58.74 BTC and the other, significantly larger, with nearly 2,875 BTC.
Joseph Farace, Ryan’s father, is also involved in this case due to a previous conviction in which both father and son were found guilty of laundering BTC associated with illegal transactions.
A Tale of Two Individuals
In contrast, Shaun Bridges has been in possession of Bitcoin connected to Silk Road for quite some time. As a former FBI agent, Bridges exploited his involvement in Silk Road-related actions to pilfer funds from an administrator’s account. The value of the BTC stolen at the time was approximately $800,000, but its worth has since significantly increased. Bridges was temporarily released but was later apprehended while attempting to flee the country, violating a court order.
Ryan and Joseph Farace, on the other hand, were convicted in 2018 for selling Xanax on various darknet marketplaces over an unspecified period.
“Cryptocurrency tracing techniques established that, in all, wallets associated with R. Farace, and/or his vendor name ‘XANAXMAN,’ received over 9,138 Bitcoins from addresses associated with darknet marketplaces.”
Ryan reportedly cooperated with law enforcement prior to his trial, assisting in the recovery of the proceeds from his sales. However, an additional 24 BTC was allegedly discovered later, raising questions about the extent of his cooperation.
While in prison, Ryan and his father conspired to transfer more BTC to a foreign bank account. Their communication took place via email sent from a contraband phone in prison. Ryan instructed his father to send the Bitcoins to a foreign bank account, which he noted on the cover of a prison book and then mailed to his father.
Unfortunately for the Farace duo, their communications were intercepted, and the assets in question were seized.
The U.S. Government now intends to liquidate these assets, planning to sell them once the grace period for mitigation claims has elapsed.
If no legitimate claims are made against this decision, the U.S. Government will proceed with selling the BTC in an upcoming, as-yet-unannounced auction.
This development raises questions about whether this auction could contribute to another decline in the cryptocurrency’s price, which has already experienced a decrease of nearly ten thousand dollars in recent weeks.