Damian Williams, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, announced that JAMES ZHONG was sentenced today to one year and one day in prison for committing wire fraud in September 2012 when he unlawfully obtained approximately 50,000 Bitcoin from the Silk Road dark web internet marketplace. United States District Judge Paul G. Gardephe imposed today’s sentence.

As part of the ZHONG investigation, the Government has obtained final orders of forfeiture for, among other items, 51,680.32473733 Bitcoin, valued at over $3.4 billion at the time of seizure and over $1.57 billion today.

U.S. Attorney Damian Williams said: “Back in 2012, James Zhong committed wire fraud by stealing 50,000 Bitcoin from Silk Road, and for the next 10 years, he managed to conceal what he had done and how he obtained his fortune. Zhong used a decentralized Bitcoin mixer, an overseas cryptocurrency exchange, and an impressive array of technological tools to frustrate tracing efforts. But thanks to the relentless and skillful efforts of law enforcement in following the money, the federal government uncovered Zhong’s scheme and obtained final orders of forfeiture for over 51,680 Bitcoin. Cyber-criminals should heed this message: we will follow the money and hold you accountable, no matter how sophisticated your scheme and no matter how long it takes.”

According to court filings and statements made in court proceedings:


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