Darknet Market Operators Who Stole 40 Thousand BTC Face Prison Time
This week the accused thieves from the infamous Sheep Marketplace have been indicted by prosecutors from the Czech Republic. The charged suspect Thomas Jiřikovský may face up to 18 years for firearms charges, theft, and drug trafficking. The Sheep Marketplace was a popular darknet market much like the Silk Road but only lasted a few months due to the operators ceasing operations in an alleged exit scam.
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Two Suspects From the Sheep Marketplace Await Jail Time in the Czech Republic
In March of 2015, Thomas Jiřikovský was arrested in the Czech Republic for allegedly stealing millions of dollars in bitcoin from the darknet market, Sheep Marketplace, which was located on the deep web in 2013. The market is notorious for shutting down after a few months of operations due to a so-called vendor who stole $6 million worth of bitcoins.
“We are sorry to say, but we were robbed on November 21, 2013, by vendor EBOOK101,” explained the Sheep Marketplace at the time. This vendor found bug [sic] in our system and stole 5400 BTC – your money, our provisions, all was stolen.”
According to regional reports, Jiřikovský and his wife Eve who was allegedly Sheep’s programmer have been going through the motions of trial and will likely be sentenced in the near future. “He faces 10 to 18 years in prison,” said Hynek Olma, a spokesman for the regional prosecutor’s office.
“We filed the indictment for crimes of unauthorized production and the handling of narcotic and psychotropic substances, theft and illegal possession of firearms. The woman was charged with the crime of legalization of proceeds from crime,” explained Olma.
Olma added that Eve was facing three to eight years in prison for being an accomplice.
Sheep Marketplace Accomplices Arrested in Florida Last Year
The U.S. had also arrested two individuals connected with Jiřikovský and his wife back in May of 2016. Nathan Gibson and Sean Mackert tried to convert the funds via Coinbase and were caught by government agencies in the state of Florida. Coinbase at the time received a subpoena and revealed Gibson had deposited over 842 bitcoins with the company.
Czech police caught Jiřikovský purchasing a house near Hodonín, Czech Republic with his portion of the funds. The prosecutor’s office detailed the home was seized alongside the suspect’s bitcoin stash and computers. Jiřikovský and his wife also put a large sum of money into the couple’s grandfather’s home, but police were already following the money trail. According to investigators Jiřikovský and Eve used Bitstamp to convert his bitcoins into crowns.
40,000 Bitcoins Stolen During the Biggest Exit Scam in History
The Sheep Marketplace was considered one of the biggest exit scams in the history of darknet markets as the operators were accused of stealing 40,000 bitcoins from customers. Users had complained of suspended withdrawals one week prior to the $6 million dollar vendor theft incident and the website shut down for good immediately after the announcement, along with all the existing customer funds.
Czech prosecutors have not disclosed what will happen to the seized properties and the remaining bitcoins.
What do you think about the Sheep Marketplace operators facing jail time? Let us know in the comments below.
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