The United States Department of Justice on Thursday announced charges against Hugh Brian Haney, a resident Columbus Ohio who allegedly made $19 million from the sale of narcotics on dark web market place, Silk Road.
According to the press release, Haney, sixty-year-old collected proceeds from his drug sales on Silk Road in Bitcoin, and was hunted down by authorities when he tried to convert his Bitcoins to fiat. The alleged culprit had started dealing with hard drugs before 2013 and was left with his “stash of cyber gold” after the market place was put out of business that year.
Haney as per the allegations was also a high ranking member of Pharmville, a vendor on Silk Road that even sold narcotics, including oxycontin, in 2011 and 2012 to agents and officers of the Drug Enforcement Administration.
It was precisely between 2017 and 2018, approximately five years after the Silk Road shutdown that Haney tried to convert his Bitcoins to fiat by moving them to a cryptocurrency exchange firm. Apparently, He made those Bitcoins when it was selling for near $100 and tried to cash out during the all-time high.
Haney liaised with the crypto exchange firm to claim falsely that the source of the Bitcoins was his own “mining” of Bitcoins and from “individuals [he] met online.” Those claims though did not stop the authorities from seizing the money from a custodial account at the New York Bank.
Haney was thus charged with one count of concealment money laundering, which according to the release carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison. He also faces one count of engaging in a financial transaction in criminally derived property, which could land him a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison.
Meanwhile, in a similar development, Stmarket.co reported last month that Europol finally arrested six people (five men and one woman) alleged to be behind a €24 million (appr. $27 million) cryptocurrency theft.