A former Special Agent
with the U.S. Secret Service pleaded guilty on Tuesday to charges of
money laundering, announced Acting Assistant Attorney General Kenneth A.
Blanco of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division, U.S. Attorney
Brian Stretch of the Northern District of California,
Special Agent in Charge Kimberly A. Lappin of the IRS-Criminal
Investigation (IRS-CI) Washington, D.C. Field Office Cyber Crimes Unit,
Special Agent in Charge John F. Bennett of the FBI’s San Francisco
Division, and Special Agent in Charge David Green of the Department of
Homeland Security Office of Inspector General, Houston Field Office.
Shaun W. Bridges, 35,
of Laurel, Md., pleaded guilty to one count of money laundering before
U.S. District Court Judge Richard Seeborg of the Northern District of
California. Sentencing has been set for November 7.
been a Special Agent with the U.S. Secret Service for approximately six
years in the Baltimore Field Office. Between 2012 and 2014, he was
assigned to the Baltimore Silk Road Task Force, a multi-agency group
investigating illegal activity on the Silk Road, a covert online
marketplace for illicit goods, including drugs. Bridges’
responsibilities included, among other things, conducting forensic
computer investigations in an effort to locate, identify and prosecute
targets of the Silk Road Task Force, including Ross Ulbricht, aka “Dread
Pirate Roberts,” who ran the Silk Road from the Northern District of
California. In 2015, Bridges pleaded guilty to one count of money
laundering and one count of obstruction of justice related to his theft
and diversion of over $800,000 in digital currency over which he gained
control as part of his role on the Baltimore Silk Road Task Force. In
December 2015, Bridges was sentenced to 71 months in prison on those
reporting to prison to begin serving his sentence for the 2015
conviction, Bridges was arrested and taken into custody on new charges
related to another theft of approximately 1,600 bitcoin, valued at the
time of the theft at approximately $359,005, from a digital wallet
belonging to the U.S. government. According to admissions made in
connection with his guilty plea in this case, Bridges admitted to using a
private key to access a digital wallet belonging to the U.S.
government, and subsequently transferring the bitcoin to other digital
wallets at other bitcoin exchanges to which only he had access. As part
of his plea, Bridges agreed to turn over the stolen bitcoin to U.S.
The case is being investigated by the FBI’s San
Francisco Division, the IRS-CI’s Washington, D.C. Field Office Cyber
Crimes Unit and the Department of Homeland Security Office of the
Inspector General, Houston Field Office. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant
U.S. Attorney William Frentzen of the Northern District of California
and Trial Attorney Richard B. Evans of the Criminal Division’s Public
Integrity Section. Assistant U.S. Attorney David Countryman is handling
the Asset Forfeiture aspects of the case.