Legal Fears Slow Ross Ulbricht Appeal Fundraising

Editor’s Note: This article has been updated to correct an inaccuracy. The Crypto Show is a radio show — not a podcast — which is broadcast on 89.1 FM in Austin, Texas. We have also added Lyn Ulbricht’s and Cody Wilson’s comments regarding Ghost Gunner’s legality.The Crypto Show, a popular cryptocurrency radio show, began a StartJoin crowdfunding campaign for Ross Ulbricht’s appeal in June 2015. Since the beginning of the campaign, complications related to one of the offered prizes have resulted in the Crypto Show’s campaign being removed from StartJoin.

According to Danny Sessoms, StartJoin removed the Ross Ulbricht appeal fund campaign from its site due to the Crypto Show offering a Ghost Gunner from Defense Distributed as an auction prize:

“Based on a few things that were said it was obvious that the legal department didn’t want to be involved with us because of our top prize The Ghost Gunner. I don’t blame StartJoin or the other platforms that turned us down. It’s a ridiculous PC world we live in where business’s (sic) have to fear their every move for some sort of legal or social backlash. We could have easily dropped the Ghost Gunner and sell it separately but why should we[?]”

The Ghost Gunner is a CNC milling machine manufactured by Cody Wilson’s organization, Defense Distributed. Although the machine is capable of creating a number of things, Wilson and his organization have marketed the Ghost Gunner as an at-home gun building machine. Lyn Ulbricht has commented that the Ghost Gunner is perfectly legal, while Cody Wilson has said that the only places his product cannot be legally sold are Syria, Iran, and North Korea.

Nevertheless, this machine has garnered controversy in the media, with publications drumming up fear of criminals using the Ghost Gunner to produce untraceable firearms that will be used to harm people. Due to this fear, FedEx and UPS refused to ship the Ghost Gunner.

The Crypto Show has not let its problems with StartJoin put a damper on the fundraiser. Rather than trying to take the initiative to another crowdfunding site, the Crypto Show decided to host the fundraiser on its website, with auction participants and donators sending money directly to the FreeRoss.org.

Many items — donated by figures in the Bitcoin community — are up for grabs. Here are some of the items on the list:

  • Cody Wilson: a Ghost Gunner signed by Cody
  • Roger Ver: $1000 worth of advertising on Bitcoin.com
  • Kirk & Lyn Ulbricht: 1 week in a Bamoo beach house in Costa Rica
  • The Crypto Show: 3 months of advertising, banner ads, and a 60 second audio commercial
  • Jeff Berwick: two tickets to Anarchapulco 2016
  • Alex Winter: a signed BluRay copy of the Deep Web documentary
  • Adam Kokesh: a free copy of FREEDOM and a sticker to all donators

In addition to the auction, the Crypto Show is putting on an online garage and bake sale, with 100% of the proceeds going to FreeRoss.org.

Earlier in 2015, Ross Ulbricht was convicted of being the mastermind behind the infamous Silk Road dark net marketplace. Ulbricht was sentenced to life in prison for his crimes. Ulbricht’s defense team and family believe that he was not given a fair trial, and are pursuing an appeal in hopes of getting a second trial. The defense team’s strategy — if given a second trial — will involve leveraging the recent guilty pleas of two former federal agents, who admitted to stealing Bitcoin from Silk Road during the investigation. One of the agents, Carl Force, even admitted to extorting Ulbricht.

If you are interested in learning more about Ross Ulbricht’s story and conviction, visit FreeRoss.org.

To participate in the Crypto Show’s auction and garage/bake sale, visit the show’s website.

Was Ross Ulbricht given a fair trial? Let us know in the comments below!

Images: Rolling Stone, The Independent