One year in prison for the mastermind behind the $3.4 billion Silk Road Bitcoin theft

By: Mark Jessy

One year in prison for the mastermind behind the $3.4 billion Silk Road Bitcoin theft

April 15, 2023 6:28 AM

In November 2022, James Zhong pleaded guilty to wire fraud charges and was awaiting sentencing for his role in the "illegally obtained" Bitcoin scheme.

The United States Attorney's Office for the Southern District of New York announced→ the sentencing of an individual who pled guilty to wire fraud charges in 2012 in connection with "illegally obtained" Bitcoin from the Silk Road marketplace.

The US Justice Department announced on April 14 that James Zhong was sentenced to one year and one day in prison for charges linked to executing a plot to steal more than 51,680 Bitcoin (BTC). Zhong pled guilty to the charges in November 2022 and was awaiting sentencing at the time.

"U.S. Attorney Damian Williams warned cybercriminals, Cybercriminals should hear this message: we will track the money and hold you accountable, no matter how complex your plan and no matter how long it takes."

According to Williams, Zhong stole the BTC in 2012 and hid his wrongdoing for about ten years before facing prosecution. In November 2021, US police confiscated Zhong's Bitcoin assets from his Georgia home, discovering the majority of the cryptocurrency in a floor safe and a computer hidden in a popcorn tin. At that time, the coins had a collective value of approximately $3.4 billion dollars.


The Silk Road bazaar, which has been in operation for around ten years, let users to buy and trade illegal commodities like as guns and stolen credit card information, attracting the attention of US officials. Ross Ulbricht, the platform's inventor, was arrested in 2013 for his involvement and is currently serving two life terms without the possibility of release.