The U.S. Justice Department sent ripples through the cryptocurrency world in November when it announced it had seized nearly 70,000 Bitcoins from a person the agency would identify only as “Individual X.” Now, new clues point to who may have owned the stash, which today is worth more than $3 billion.
According to recent court filings in the forfeiture case, the proceedings are related to a criminal case involving two corrupt federal agents: Shaun Bridges, who worked for the Secret Service; and Carl Mark Force IV, formerly of the Drug Enforcement Administration. Both men were investigators in a case involving Silk Road, a notorious online drug bazaar, but both went to prison for conducting crime sprees of their own involving extortion and robbery.
While the Justice Department did not reply to requests from Fortune for comment, there are clues in the new documents showing possible connections between Bridges and Individual X. Among such clues is a Justice Department statement in the newer case that “Individual X was able to hack into Silk Road and gain unauthorized and illegal access to Silk Road and thereby steal the illicit cryptocurrency.” In the earlier case, Bridges was convicted of using the log-in credentials of a Silk Road informant to repeatedly steal from the site.