James Zhong has recently received one-year prison sentence. He was found guilty of stealing 50K Bitcoins from the dark web marketplace called Silk Road. The heist took place in 2012 and he was under investigation on the matter in a court of law.
A recent press release published by the US Department of Justice has maintained that one year sentence has been assigned to the accused.
He was being prosecuted for the charges of processing 51,680 Bitcoins from Silk Road. It is important to mention for context that Silk Road is an underground trafficking site where online illegal activities take place.
The DOJ has confirmed that Zhong has been sentenced to one year in prison on counts of wire fraud. He was found guilty of stealing money from the digital wallets on the network.
Police Found Stolen Bitcoin at Zhong’s Residence
The Department of Justice report has also maintained in the report that around 50,676 Bitcoins were found at Zhong’s residence in Gainesville, Georgia. The police team that recovered the stolen funds also maintained that it was worth around $3.36 billion as per the current market value.
US police department made a raid on the residential address of James Zhong in 2021 which was unannounced to ensure the recovery of the stolen cryptocurrency.
The hacker had started siphoning Bitcoin in 2012 when it was trending for $11 per unit. However, his total stash of robbed crypto was valued at $600K at the time of the heist.
On the other hand, authorities were able to track and confiscate the devices from the convicted felon that contained the stolen Bitcoin reserves. He has reportedly opted for a guilty plea on the count of wire fraud that carries a maximum sentence of 20 years behind bars.
Attorney Darmian Williams has told media that before his arrest, Zhong was able to spend $16 million worth of stolen Bitcoin in acquiring properties, buying luxury hotels, and invest in nightclubs, purchased luxury cars such as Lamborghinis.
Williams also issued a message for cyber criminals claiming that law enforcement agencies are always going to uncover their schemes and apprehend them with the stolen funds no matter how much time it takes.
On the other hand, the prosecutors have submitted a request to the judges to issue a sentence of fewer than two years. They have maintained that the smaller charge is based on his youth, autism, and his cooperation in recovering the siphoned Bitcoin.
The defense attorney pleaded that Zhong was bullied by his people since he was different. He had been timid and diagnosed with autism spectrum recently. These remarks are corroborated by the court papers.