Earlier today, Ross Ulbricht, the 31-year-old pioneer who founded the bitcoin "black market" marketplace known as Silk Road, was sentenced to life in prison without parole. In addition, Ulbricht was ordered to forfeit $184 million dollars, or approximately 98% of the website's total revenue since its inception in February of 2011.
Ulbricht's troubles began early in October of 2013, when he was arrested in a San Francisco library after an FBI investigation revealed that Ulbricht was the infamous "Dread Pirate Roberts" who ran Silk Road. Ulbricht was indicted on charges of money laundering, computer hacking, and conspiracy to traffic narcotics. According to the FBI, roughly $1.2 billion in illegal drug transactions took place on Silk Road.
While mainstream media outlets are quick to label Silk Road as a drug marketplace, very few media outlets point out that Silk Road was not merely a place to buy illegal drugs, but an experiment in virtual currency where goods and services of all kinds could be bought and sold. Sure, drugs were sold on Silk Road, but so were books, clothing, jewelry, food and other perfectly legal items.
Why, then, did Ulbrict receive such a draconian sentence by Judge Katherine B. Forrest? Is it because Ulbricht was a threat to public safety, or is it because virtual currency is a threat to the establishment?
When one looks at other online marketplaces, such as Craigslist, one cannot help but get the feeling that Ulbricht got the shaft not so much for his site's role in international drug trafficking, but mainly because bitcoins and other forms of virtual currency are flies in the ointment of the Federal Reserve and global wealth controllers like the Rothschilds and the Bilderberg Group.
If the goal of Operation Onymous was to shut down websites that posed a threat to public safety and prosecute their creators, then Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook and Craig Newmark of Craigslist should be given life sentences without parole as well. It's a well-documented fact that people have been robbed, raped, cheated, conned, scammed, swindled, kidnapped or overdosed as the result of answering an ad on Craigslist. The only difference between Craigslist and Silk Road is simply that Silk Road utilized a form of currency that was a threat to the establishment. And if you think drug transactions, murder-for-hire plots, and solicitation of minors has never taken place through Facebook, then you might be interested in purchasing some beachfront property I'm selling in Wyoming.
Hey, kids! Here's a fun fact that will blow you mind:
While Ulbricht was given life without parole for founding Silk Road, Silk Road's biggest drug dealer, Cornelis Jan Slomp, received a sentence of (wait for it)....... 10 years.
And no, Jan Slomp's trial didn't take place in some liberal European courtroom, it took place in Chicago.
Oddly enough, the judge who sentenced Ulbricht, Katherine Bolan Forrest, has connections within the world of Big Banking as deep as the Marianas Trench. Forrest worked for the New York law firm of Cravath, Swaine & Moore from 1990 to 2010, alongside colleagues like Robert Kindler (current Vice Chairman of Morgan Stanley), Russell Leffingwell (Chairman of J.P. Morgan), and Adebayo Ogunlesi (who sits on the Goldman Sachs Board of Directors). Another colleague, Peter Babej, is a Deutsche Bank executive.
Here's another interesting fact:
It was Judge Forrest who dismissed the price-fixing charges against Goldman Sachs and JP Morgan Chase in August of 2014.
Now, we're not implying that Forrest is in bed with Big Banking, but we're not not implying that either. Besides, it'll give a young buck like Ross Ulbricht something to ponder in the depths of a dank prison cell while the years of his once-promising life tick away.