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Accused Silk Road creator loses bid to dismiss U.S. indictment

10
Jul
2014

By Jonathan Stempel NEW YORK (Reuters) – The man accused of creating Silk Road, which U.S. authorities said was an online drug marketplace, lost his bid on Wednesday to dismiss a federal indictment accusing him of conspiring to deal illegal narcotics and launder money. Ross Ulbricht, who prosecutors said was known online as “Dread Pirate Roberts,” had claimed he did not conspire with Silk Road users who might have broken the law by completing transactions on the now-defunct website, using the digital currency bitcoin. In a 51-page decision, U.S. District Judge Katherine Forrest in Manhattan said, “the design and operation” of Silk Road and Ulbricht’s role as an “intermediary” between website users justified letting prosecutors pursue their case. “Whether the government can prove the facts alleged is not a question at this stage.” Forrest also said the federal money laundering statute encompasses bitcoins, noting that the virtual currency’s value can be expressed in dollars.

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